Hockey Hall of Famer Willie O'Ree broke down the NHL's color barrier by breaking it with the Boston BruinsSources tell ESPN that in 1958, he joined the ownership group for the Premier Hockey Federation's Boston Pride.
O'Ree (86), said that the growth of women's soccer is crucial and that she admires world-class athletes who are role models and making a difference in younger generations. I am proud to be part of the Pride and look forward watching these women compete for another championship.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The Pride were one the four founding teams for the National Women's Hockey League (now the PHF) in 2015. They are the current Isobel Cup champions, having won the league championship in both 2016 and 2021.
O'Ree is a legend in hockey history. O'Ree has been the NHL diversity ambassador since 1998. He was also a part of the “Hockey Is For Everyone” initiative. His No. The Boston Bruins retired his No. 22 this season. O'Ree is also the only one to have received the highest civilian awards by Canada (Order of Canada) and the U.S.
Johanna Boynton, who is a member of PHF Board of Governors said O'Ree's participation was “phenomenal.”
He has been an inspiration for hockey and the inclusion and diversity of the hockey community. She stated that he is helping us to diversify our ownership group, which reflects our values as well as our mission. “It's a privilege. He is respected and admired throughout Boston and the hockey world.
It is the second major BIPOC ownership change for the PHF. Boynton sold the Toronto Six franchise's ownership to an investor group that also includes Angela James, a Hockey Hall of Famer, Ted Nolan, former NHL hockey player Anthony Stewart, and Bernice Carnegie. Bernice Carnegie, the daughter of Herb Carnegie was, like O’Ree, a trailblazer in Black hockey players.
Saroya Tinker (defender of the Six) said that Toronto's new owners, O'Ree's involvement and Boston's participation with O'Ree are examples of the PHF's “education empowerment and inclusion mantra.”
“We work hard to make the professional league the most inclusive and diverse, but it takes time. Tinker stated that the next step is to open the doors to all. These are dedicated, passionate people who want to help grow the game.
ESPN+ streamed the PHF's 2021-22 season. The Isobel Cup Playoffs will be held March 25-28 in Tampa. The Isobel Cup champion is scheduled for March 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.