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Hockey trailblazer Herb Carnegie dies at the age of 92 in hospital

TORONTO - A man touted as a trailblazer in the hockey world has died.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Herb Carnegie died Friday in a Toronto hospital. He was 92.

Many said Carnegie should have been the Jackie Robinson on the NHL.

Carnegie was the son of Jamaican parents who was raised in the Toronto area. He took up hockey and earned a reputation as a play-making centre, but no blacks played in the NHL when he started his playing career.

Carnegie and his older brother, Ossie, made it to the then Quebec Provincial League, with Herb winning multiple Most Valuable Player awards with the Sherbrooke Saints.

Carnegie was invited to the New York Rangers' training camp in 1948 and was offered chances to play with the team's farm club, but turned down the offer because the pay was too low.

Carnegie was quoted as saying he was good enough to play for the Rangers but blamed the colour barrier.

Ontario Lt. Gov. David Onley issued a statement Saturday calling Carnegie a "prodigious talent" who was "prevented by the racism of that time from taking his rightful place in the National Hockey League."

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