Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Manon Rhéaume: The First Lady of Hockey

Manon Rhéaume was a hottie, but also a pretty damn good goaltender who became the First Lady of Hockey.

Manon was the the first female to play at the Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament that has featured many prominent NHL alumni. It was at this time, when Manon was just 11 years old, that she started making national headlines for her spectacular play as a goaltender. Rhéaume recently appeared on Hockey Day in Canada at the Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament where her son was playing.

After playing a handful of minutes in the Quebec Junior Hockey League, one of hockey's top professional male development leagues, she was invited to the training camp of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992. She made history when she participated in a preseason game for the Lightning that fall, becoming the first female to play in an NHL game.

Manon played the 1st period of the game and let in 2 goals on 9 shots. The game was tied 2-2 when she was replaced. It is common for goalies not to play full games during preseason, but it would have been nice to see her play a full game or at least half.

She was also invited back to the Lightning training camp the following year and played a game against the Boston Bruins. Many people will say this was just a big publicity stunt by the Tampa Bay management, since she was invited the first 2 seasons that the Lightning played to help built hype around the team. Regardless of why she made the NHL, I loved her for being an amazing goalie and making stopping pucks look sexy. Her cover of Starter Magazine hung on my wall for many years.

She played a total of 24 games for various minor league teams between 1992 and 1997, including games in the International Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League. She also played on the Canadian silver-medal winning Olympic women's hockey team in 1998, and won Gold Medals as Team Canada's goaltender at the 1992 and 1994 World Hockey Championships.

During the height of her popularity, Manon was approached by both Playboy Magazine and Penthouse Magazine to do shoots, which she refused. Manon has always been a fantastic role model for women's hockey and continues to do so today. Rhéaume formed the Manon Rhéaume Foundation in 2008 as a way to give back to the community and to the game of ice hockey. The goal of the foundation is to inspire young girls to reach for their dreams while overcoming obstacles. The Foundation provides scholarships for young women to assist them as they seek to fulfill their aspirations. With all of Rhéaume's firsts, and her contribution to women's hockey, how long is it until Manon Rhéaume is discussed as a candidate for the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Do you think there are any other female hockey players that could play in the NHL?

We wonder how Hayley Wickenheiser would do in a preseason game...

13 comments:

  1. She has done some great things for women's hockey. But noway she should have been invited to training camp for an NHL team.

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  2. Great to read about a female hockey player, who sounds like she definitely did a lot for women's hockey. I didn't even know that a woman had played in an NHL game (pre-season) before, Thanks DD.

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  3. Great post for international women's day.
    love hot chicks

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  4. today is womens day?

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  5. it's nice you guys did a post for international women's day.
    too bad the ad beside the post is advertising Russian mail-order brides.

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  6. she let in 2 goals on 9 shots in a fucking exhibition game. she lucked into playing a few fucking games in the q and tampa needed publicity so they invited her. put the god damn goalie from the finish paralympic team on the ice and he could do that well. never shoulda been invited out to an nhl camp. no women can compete against pro men athlete, its science

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  7. no way she should have played in the NHL, but its nice to get womens hockey some publicity - the more people (including girls) into hockey, the better

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  8. Whens the Top Ten Hottest Female Hockey Players going to be posted?

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  9. Whomever wrote comment #7 is an idiot. You don't know what the 2 goals were like. And you're forgetting the point that she also made 7 saves! Manon is an inspiration to female hockey players everywhere.

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  10. what a babe... top 3 hottest hockey players for me

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  11. womans sports especially hockey is awful

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  12. I wish that she did playboy:)

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