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Sharks Evander Kane Wears O'Ree-inspired Skates

by Missy Zielinski @SanJoseSharks /

Sharks forward Evander Kane got a very special gift on the road in St. Louis this week.

A custom pair of Bauer hockey skates honoring Willie O'Ree and celebrating Black History Month.

Kane was one of a select number of NHL players who received a pair of skates and had the opportunity to wear them on the ice.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Evander Kane, along with a number of other NHL players, is honoring Willie O'Ree and celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth with these custom skates from @BauerHockey.

"I think it's a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate Black History Month in the NHL," Kane said. "Willie was obviously the first player to break the color barrier in the National Hockey League, and to represent his accomplishments in the month of February is definitely a great honor."

Another cool connection - Terry Smith, who created the original Sharks logo, was the lead designer of the skate graphics.

"They did a great job on the skates," Kane said. "It's definitely something hopefully that they continue to do moving forward, not just for Black History Month really, but for showcasing the personality and individuality.

"It's just a great feeling to highlight a special player like Willie, and glad I could wear them and I'm happy to do so."

Here's another look at Kane's skates at practice today:

Game-worn skates will be auctioned through the NHL auction program and proceeds will benefit the Black Girl Hockey Club, a nonprofit dedicated to uniting Black women in the hockey community and making the game more welcoming and accessible.

To learn more about the skate creation and design, click here.

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