On Friday, January 15, Sharks forward Brad Staubitz paid a very special visit to the Oakland Ice Center Operated by Sharks Ice. Staubitz joined Willie O’Ree, who broke the color barrier in the NHL in 1958, to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of O’Ree’s inaugural game with the Boston Bruins. O’Ree currently serves as the NHL’s Director of Youth Development and Hockey Ambassador for the Hockey Is For Everyone initiative.
to view photos from the event.
Staubitz first took to the ice with students from several Oakland schools and after school programs that participate in physical education programs at the rink. He answered questions, posed for pictures and signed autographs.
Next, while O’Ree visited with students off the ice, Staubitz joined a group of children from the Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (familiarly known as BORP), equipped with hockey sleds and ear-to-ear smiles. The brand-new sled hockey players were thrilled to receive passes and advice from Staubitz. He urged all of them to work hard toward their goals, and not to give up when things don’t always go their way. Sharks Ice is partnering with BORP to incorporate sled hockey into its community programming.
Also joining Staubitz on the ice were members of the Oakland Technical High School ice hockey team sponsored by Sharks Ice, who first met Staubitz when he visited the Oakland Ice Center in September 2008. The Tech players were quick to note the absence of the impressive black eye that Staubitz had sported on his last visit.
Sharks Ice is a proud member of the NHL’s Hockey Is For Everyone program, providing a variety ice sports at low or no cost to thousands of children in the City of Oakland each year. The San Jose Sharks organization is committed to creating opportunities for interaction between players such as Staubitz and the children of our community to help inspire them to believe in themselves and work hard to achieve their dreams.