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

by Chris Lynch

Former Danbury Whaler defenseman Jason McCrimmon was awarded the National Hockey League's Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award at the 2023 NHL Honors in Nashville, TN. The award has been given since 2018 to honor individuals who have brought a positive impact to their communities through hockey and was presented to Jason McCrimmon by Willie O'Ree himself, the first black NHL player, who made his debut for the Boston Bruins on January 18th, 1958. 

McCrimmon, a Detroit, MI, native, 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 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. 

As part of the honor, McCrimmon receives $25K from the NHL for a charity of his choice. 

Congratulations to a Danbury Hockey alumnus for this wonderful honor!