Willie O'Ree, the first black player to play in the NHL, is introduced for a ceremonial puck drop prior to a game between the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers on February 9, 2009 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. February is Hockey is for Everyone Month as the NHL recognizes the expanding diversity of its players and fans. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
It's a tribute to him, and everything he's done and deserved is coming to fruition tonight with his jersey in the rafters. He's going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. And I said today, if he's not, take my stuff out. If he doesn't deserve to be in there first ballot, no one does. Except for (Wayne) Gretzky, I guess.
— Hockey Hall of Fame member Brett Hull on former teammate Mike Modano, whose No. 9 was retired by the Dallas Stars on Saturday