If you were following the Rochester Amerks AHL hockey team back in the early 80s you undoubtedly remember Val James, one of the few black Americans to play professional hockey. James, who normally played the enforcer role, was a popular player in Rochester (helping win the 1983 Calder Cup with a scoring goal in the final game certainly helped) but his reception in other places wasn’t quite as cordial. Oddly enough, the Vice article shows him in his Amerks uniform but doesn’t mention Rochester at all.
Speaking of which: If you’re in Rochester, he’ll be signing autographs at the February 13th game against the Adirondack Flames at the War Memorial. Copies of his new autobiography “Black Ice: The Val James Story” will also be on sale.