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The First Female NHL Player
Over 25 years ago, Manon Rhéaume made history by becoming the first woman to try out for an NHL team and play in the NHL.
Yes! A woman has actually played in an NHL game. With all the fans, glory and everything in between.
Meet Manon Rhéaume-the first(and hopefully not the last) woman to play in the NHL.
On Wednesday the 23rd of September 1992, Québec native Manon Rhéaume became the first woman to ever play in an NHL game.
On this historic day, the 20-year old goalie broke boundaries when she suited up for an exhibition game with NHL team the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game was played against the St. Louis Blues where Manon played one period and allowed two goals on nine shots.
Before this groundbreaking event, Manon had been invited to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s training camp by one of the team’s scouts who had taken interest in her skills.
When asked how she felt about this invitation, she replied;
“It didn’t matter to me why I was invited. When I was younger, so many times people said no to me to play at a higher level, like AAA, because I was a girl. So, this time around if they said yes to me because I’m a girl, I’m taking this opportunity. At the end of the day I still had to prove myself and perform on the ice.”
“To go to a training camp at the highest level possible, I was given the chance to do it and I didn’t want to have any regrets,” she continued. “A lot of people said, ‘Aren’t you afraid to look bad?’ I told myself, if I don’t try, I’ll never know.” Rheume told SPORTSNET.
Often referred to as The First Woman Of Hockey, Manon Rhéaume has a lot of other firsts up her sleeve.
- She was the first girl to play at the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament.
- The first woman to play in a major junior game [1991-1992 QMJHL]
- The first woman to play in the National Hockey League (NHL)
- The first woman to play in any major professional North American sports leagues.
- First woman to win a game in professional roller hockey.
Watch Manon Rhéaume:
Fun facts about Manon Rhéaume:
Despite being a hockey boss lady, there are a lot of cool things that people don’t know about Manon Rhéaume. Here are some fun facts about her:
- She played as a Forward in both the 2000-2001 Montréal Wingster and the 2007-2008 Little Caesars Senior Women’s A Hockey Team, instead of playing as a Goaltender.
- She played in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games-the first time Women’s hockey was played in the Olympic Games.
- She played Roller Hockey and was married to one-time teammate Gerry St.Cyr.
- She has two sons and her eldest, Dylan St. Cyr is also a goalie.
- Her younger brother Pascal Rhéaume is also a former NHL player.
- She heads a foundation called the Manon Rhéaume Foundation which provides scholarships for young women.
- She is a published author. Her book Manon: Alone in Front of the Net which she co-wrote with Chantel Gilbert was published in 1993.