There’s a petition to recognize the first player of color to ever play in the NHL. He was Chinese Canadian and born in Vernon, BC, Canada. You can sign the online petition here and join the facebook group. For more about Larry Kwong you can start with this post by UglyChineseCanadian or watch this video feature about him by CBC’s The National. The one and only game he played (where he only played one shift) on March 13, 1948 was against the Montreal Canadiens at the forum.
If you think it was because Kwong wasn’t good enough then you should read the New York Times article which contains a couple of quotes from Hall of Famers who describe his great talent. Dickie Moore said, “Larry was a heck of a hockey player. He was a good skater, a good puck handler. He could score goals. What more do they want?” Jean Beliveau said, “Larry made his wing men look good because he was a great passer. He was doing what a center man is supposed to do.”
Kwong will be turning 90 this year and I hear that there’s a new documentary that’s in the finishing stages. Lost Years was perhaps the first to bring attention to Larry in documentary form.