On January 18, 1958, playing for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens, Willie O'Ree became the first black person to play in the NHL--an extraordinary event that paved the way for future players of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.
It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.
— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness