NHL’s First Black Player Inspires During Skills Weekend

In February, the President of USA Hockey, Jim Smith, said “These are exciting times for hockey in the United States, and as our participation numbers indicate, the best is yet to come.”
This past weekend, the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and National Hockey League (NHL) contributed to creating “exciting times” by hosting the annual Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend.
“Hockey is a path of self-discovery,” stated O’Ree in an interview with hockeybuzz.com’s Bill Seltzer.
“Everyone is three different people: the person who you think you are, the person who others think you are, and the person who you really are. You have to find that person you really are, set goals that are meaningful to you and then be committed to meeting those goals no matter what it takes. That’s how you succeed.”
In conjunction with the NHL’s Hockey Is for Everyone (HIFE) initiative, 55 youth hockey players from around the country and Canada participated in educational, social and on-ice training activities.
Emphasizing character-building, commitment and hockey skill development, the students were welcomed at a banquet and program at the National Liberty Museum, trained at the historical Laura Sims Skate House in Cobbs Creek Park, participated in an Outward Bound group bonding session, viewed a screening of the riveting documentary ‘Soul on Ice’, and skated on the Wells Fargo Center ice. Continue reading

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