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Willie O'Ree to be honored by Kings

NHL's first black player will drop puck prior to Martin Luther King Jr. Day game @NHLdotcom

The Los Angeles Kings will honor Willie O'Ree prior to their Martin Luther King Jr. Day game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Staples Center on Monday (4 p.m., ET; SN, FS-W, SUN, NHL.TV).

O'Ree became the first black player to skate in an NHL game on Jan. 18, 1958, when he played for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum. He will drop the pre-game ceremonial puck.

O'Ree played 45 games in two seasons with the Bruins (1957-58; 1960-61), scoring four goals and 10 assists. O'Ree also spent six seasons with the Los Angeles Blades of the Western Hockey League from 1961-67 before playing for San Diego of the WHL from 1967-74.

In 1998, he was named the NHL's director of youth development for its diversity task force.

O'Ree will be also on hand when the Kings host a special screening of the movie "Soul on Ice" at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE for 500 kids from the local YMCA prior to the game. The documentary details the trials and contributions of black players in hockey.

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