Former Jet Ray Neufeld taking part in team's Black History Month events

A former Winnipeg Jet is getting involved in the team’s efforts to recognize Black History Month.

The Jets announced Wednesday that alumnus Ray Neufeld, a Winkler, Man., native who played for Winnipeg between 1985–86 and 1988–89, will participate in a ceremonial puck drop at the Feb. 28 Black History Night game.

Neufeld, whose NHL career also saw stops in Hartford and Boston, retired as a player in the early ’90s, but went on to coach in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and is currently involved with the NHL’s diversity and inclusion committee.

The Jets are working with the volunteer-based Black History Manitoba organization as part of the “Know Their Name” campaign, which recognizes Black changemakers. Jets players will wear Know Their Name shirts, designed by local Black-owned business Zueike, throughout the month.

The team is also putting together a VIP fan experience around the Feb. 28 game, which includes entertainment, food, and an opportunity to meet and have a photo taken with Neufeld on-ice at Canada Life Centre. Fans will also receive a hockey-themed version of the Know Their Name shirts, highlighting Black hockey players like Neufeld and Bill Riley, another former Jet who was the third-ever Black player in the NHL.

The Jets and all other NHL teams will wear helmet decals during Black History Month in honour of Willie O’Ree, who became the first Black NHL player in 1958.


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