The Premier Hockey Federation’s Boston Pride announced on Thursday that hockey legend and Hall of Famer Willie O’Ree is joining its ownership group. He will have a minority stake in the franchise.

“It is a thrill for me to extend my involvement in the sport and community that are such special parts of my life,” said O’Ree in a statement. “The growth of the women’s game is so important, and I admire these world-class athletes for being role models who are making a difference for younger generations. I have always received tremendous love and support in Boston. I’m proud to be a member of the Pride and look forward to cheering these women on as they compete for another championship.”

O’Ree broke the colour barrier as the first Black man to play in the NHL when he played two seasons with the Boston Bruins beginning in 1958. He has received the Order of Canada as well as the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018 as a builder for his contributions to the game of hockey. His number 22 was retired by the Bruins in January.

The Pride is the second team in the PHF to diversify their ownership group this week. On Tuesday, the Toronto Six was sold to a group of investors including former NHL player Anthony Stewart, Hockey Hall of Famer Angela James and Bernice Carnegie — who are Black — as well as former NHL coach Ted Nolan, who is Ojibwe First Nations.

The Boston Pride is one of the NWHL's four founding teams (preceding the PHF era) and are the reigning Isobel Cup champions.