Over the past two days, the Bruins have announced plans to honor two hockey legends. It all started yesterday when they announced that they will be retiring Willie O’Ree’s number 22 on February 18th. Then, today they announced that they will be wearing TR24 decals on their helmets this season in honor of the late Travis Roy. Here’s everything you need to know about both of these announcements.
Willie O’Ree to Have His Number Retired
After many years, Willie O’Ree is finally getting his number 22 retired by the Bruins. O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier when he suited up for the Bruins in 1958. After spending 21 seasons in various professional hockey leagues, 13 of which were spent in the WHL, O’Ree retired and started his next and most important chapter. Ever since retiring, O’Ree has poured his heart and soul into making hockey more inclusive. From his work as a diversity ambassador with the NHL to his work outside of the NHL, O’Ree has given everything he has to better the game of hockey. For more details on everything he did both as a player and in retirement, click here.
This is a long overdue and very well deserved honor. There will be a ceremony for him on February 18th before the Bruins take on the Devils. Due to the fact that there will not be fans there, the Bruins announced that they’ll host another ceremony for him once arenas are allowed to be open with full capacity again. I was really happy to see them say that because it is extremely unfortunate that fans can’t be there the first time. But, I’m just glad to see them finally raising his number to the rafters. Congrats, Mr. O’Ree!
Bruins to Wear Helmet Decals For Travis Roy
Willie O’Ree isn’t the only hockey icon that the Bruins will be honoring this year. They’ll also be wearing TR24 helmet decals all season to honor the late Travis Roy, who passed away on October 29th, 2020 at the age of 45. Roy was a once-promising hockey star who, just 17 seconds into his first shift for the Boston University Terriers, took a terrible fall into the boards and was paralyzed from the neck down. But, he didn’t let that stop him. He founded the Travis Roy Foundation, which helps improve the lives of those living with paralysis and their caretakers, and spent the rest of his life advocating for those with spinal cord injuries and inspiring people from all over with his overall passion, determination, and positivity in everything he did. For more details on everything Roy did to help others during his incredible life, click here.
The Bruins join the Boston University and North Yarmouth Academy hockey teams in honoring Roy this season. The BU men’s hockey team is wearing TR24 patches on their jerseys, while the women’s team is wearing the same decals as the Bruins on their helmets this season. BU is also selling TR24 gear, and all proceeds are going to the Travis Roy Foundation. Meanwhile, NYA, which is a prep high school in Yarmouth, Maine that Roy went to for a year, is renaming the Maine Prep Cup Hockey Tournament the Travis Roy Cup, and both their girl’s and boy’s teams will be wearing TR00 emblems on their helmets for the season.
Both of these gestures are incredible from the Bruins, and I’m extremely happy about them. O’Ree’s number being raised to the rafters is long overdue, so it’s awesome that it’s finally happening. As for Roy, he is a true Boston hockey icon despite only playing for 17 seconds, and his legacy deserves to be remembered and celebrated for a long time. So, it’s awesome to see the Bruins joining two of his alma maters in doing this. Congrats again to Mr. O’Ree on his number retirement! Also, rest in peace, Travis Roy, and thank you for everything you did, it will never be forgotten!
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
Featured image courtesy of @NHLBruins/Twitter
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