The San Diego Gulls will be honoring Gulls' legend Willie O'Ree by giving away an awesome Willie O'Ree bobblehead doll to fans when the Gulls host the Bakersfield Condors at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego on Nov. 16. O'Ree, who played with the Gulls as part of the Western Hockey League and Pacific Hockey League, was the first black hockey player to play in the National Hockey League.
This is a very special time for O'Ree. On Nov. 12, O'Ree will be formally inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto as a builder alongside players Martin Brodeur, Jayna Hefford, Martin St. Louis, Alexander Yakushev and current National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman. O'Ree is being recognized for his outstanding work as the director of youth development for the NHL's diversity task force. The Gulls will also wear a unique warm up jersey before the game and recognize O'Ree by mentioning his accolades during the game against the Condors. In addition to the O'Ree bobblehead giveaway, Bud Light will only be $2 during the game.
The Gulls currently have a record of three wins, two regulation losses, one overtime loss and one shootout loss for eight points overall. The Condors are at three wins and four losses.
Four Gulls players were assigned to them from the Anaheim Ducks this past week. Defensemen Marcus Pettersson and Andrej Sustr were assigned on Sunday and centers Sam Steel and Joseph Blandisi were assigned on Wednesday.
Pettersson was drafted in the second round, 38th overall, by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In 13 games with the Ducks this season, Pettersson had one assist, 11 penalty minutes and was a -1. His assist came on a goal by Ben Street in a 3-2 Ducks loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 10. Last season Pettersson played 44 games for the Gulls and had 14 assists for 14 points, 22 penalty minutes and was a +7.
Sustr played four games with the Ducks in 2018-19 and had six penalty minutes and was a +1. Prior to this season, Sustr played 318 NHL regular season games with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2012-2018 and had 10 goals and 53 assists for 63 points. Sustr also played two seasons with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
Steel was the Ducks's first round draft pick, 30th overall, in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. In 13 games with the Ducks, he had one goal and three assists for four points, and was a -3. Steel's first NHL career goal came in a 4-2 Ducks loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 21. Last season Steel led the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League in scoring with 83 points.
Blandisi was the Colorado Avalanche's sixth round draft pick, 162nd overall, in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He has played 74 NHL games in his career with the Ducks and New Jersey Devils. He has eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points. In 2018-19, Blandisi has played three games each with the Gulls and Ducks, and has two assists with the Gulls.
Get your tickets to see the San Diego Gulls and Bakersfield Condors on Willie O'Ree night (Nov. 16) at the Valley View Casino Center today.