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Hockey Is For Everyone

O'Ree meets Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau

Newly minted Hockey Hall of Famer discusses diversity work

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Willie O'Ree's incredible year continued when the newly enshrined Hockey Hall of Famer met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the first time in Ottawa on Tuesday.

O'Ree, who became the first black player in the NHL, debuting with the Boston Bruins on Jan. 18, 1958, posed for photos, autographed a wooden hockey stick for Trudeau and even showed off his Hall of Fame ring during his visit to Parliament Hill. 

The two discussed O'Ree's upbringing in Canada, his move to the United States, his current position as the NHL's diversity ambassador and his work with the Hockey is for Everyone programs.  

The visit, where O'Ree was accompanied by his wife Deljeet and daughter Chandra, was organized for "Willie," a documentary chronicling the story and upbringing of O'Ree, which is scheduled to be released in 2019. 

O'Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 12 along with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and former players Martin Brodeur, Martin St. Louis, Alexander Yakushev and Jayna Hefford. 

After the meeting, O'Ree visited Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS), a volunteer-driven charity that uses the game of ice hockey to teach life skills and empower marginalized youth. He visited the same Hockey Is For Everyone program at this time last year when he was in Ottawa for the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic, an outdoor game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa.

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