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.
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.
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...