Having Zak Kindrachuk on Weekend Philler and learning about his “My Dad Used to Play Hockey” was a super rewarding experience for a Flyers nerd like myself. Growing up in the Broad Street Bully era I was very familiar with his father, Orest Kindrachuk’s, 70s Flyers teamates that have made and make it such a great podcast.
When I asked Zak his favorite guests so far on his podcast, one that was not a Flyer stood out for Zak and for me. Willie O’Ree. We featured a little of the podcast on the show, but don’t miss the entire thing. It’s very worth a listen.
Many people know that in 1947, Jackie Robinson changed history as being the first Black Major League Baseball player. What some people don’t know is that ten years later, the National Hockey League would change history as well. In 1957 Willie O’Ree was the first Black hockey player to play in the NHL with the Bruins.
“I didn’t realize that I had broke the color barrier until I read it in the paper,” Willie O’Ree tells My Dad Used to Play Hockey podcaster Zak Kindrachuk, “I was just so excited about getting to play in an NHL regular season game.”
Now an NHL Hall of Famer, Willie O’Ree still continues to speak about his legacy. And for Zak Kindrachuk and many podcast listeners, it is an honor to hear this story.