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O'Ree commemorative coin unveiled by Royal Canadian Mint
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Willie O'Ree's
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Welcome to, the official site of the National Hockey LeagueBienvenue à , le site officiel de la Ligue nationale de hockeyДобро пожаловать на, официальный сайт Национальной хоккейной лигиTervetuloa NHL:n viralliselle nettisivustolle NHL.comiinVälkommen till, NHL:s officiella web-sidaVítejte na, oficiálních stránkách National Hockey LeagueVitajte na, oficiálnych stránkach National Hockey LeagueWillkommen auf, der offiziellen Seite der National Hockey LeagueBienvenido a, el sitio oficial de la National Hockey LeagueOTTAWA -- Willie O'Ree's image is on a plaque in the Hockey Hall of Fame, a likeness of his trademark fedora sits atop an NHL award that bears his name, and two hockey rinks in the United States and Canada are named in his honor.Now he's on money as well.The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a Willie O'Ree commemorative $20 silver coin Tuesday as part of its celebration of Black History Month.The 99.99 percent pure silver coin features O'Ree in the Boston Bruins jersey he wore when he became the NHL's first black player on Jan. 18, 1958, as well as his No. 22 and his signature on the front. "To be on the same coin as the queen … who can ask for anything better than that?"O'Ree joins more than a dozen former NHL players to be featured on a Canadian coin, an All-Star list that includes Jean Beliveau, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Maurice Richard, Jacques Plante, Ed Giacomin, Ray Bourque, Steve Yzerman, Doug Gilmour and Terry Sawchuk.Mint officials said O'Ree was an easy choice to be placed on the coin because of his historical significance in helping integrate the NHL and for his post-playing career role in helping grow the game as the League's Diversity Ambassador.O'Ree overcame racial prejudice and blindness in his right eye, the result of a hockey injury, and debuted with the Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum on Jan. 18, 1958.He appeared in 45 NHL games for the Bruins during the 1957-58 and 1960-61 seasons, finishing with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists).

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