Former Danbury Whaler Jason McCrimmon Up for NHL's Willie O'Ree Award

by Chris Lynch

Former Danbury Whalers defenseman Jason McCrimmon is a finalist for the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award! This is an award given out by the National Hockey League since 2018 to honor individuals who have brought a positive impact to their communities through the sport of hockey. The award is named in honor of Willie O’Ree, the first black NHL player, who debuted on the NHL’s ice for the Boston Bruins on January 18th, 1958.

Jason McCrimmon is a Detroit, MI, native who played five seasons of professional hockey, including the 2011-12 season with the Danbury Whalers.

After his professional playing career, he returned to Detroit and founded the Detroit Ice Dreams Youth Hockey Association. He also serves as the associate head coach, GM and owner of the USPHL’s Junior A Motor City Gamblers. Part of the NHL Coaches’ Association’s BIPOC coaches program, McCrimmon has committed his efforts to serving the underserved and underprivileged of his city while developing excellent junior hockey players and bringing the joy of hockey to the youth of Detroit.

To cast your vote for Jason for the Willie O’Ree Community Hero award, click on the link here! Voting will be open until April 16th.  The winner will get $25K from the NHL for a charity of their choice. Make sure to support a Danbury Hockey alum for this special honor!