Manon RhéaumeHeadshot

Manon Rhéaume

First (and Only) Female to Play in an NHL Game; Only Female Hockey Player Signed to a Professional Contract
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In 1992, when Manon Rhéaume stepped on the ice as goaltender for the Tampa Bay Lightning, she became The First Woman of Hockey—the first and only female to play in an NHL game.

Manon was also the first female to sign a contract as a professional hockey player, leading to a successful six-year career in the minor leagues. To this day, no other woman has played in any of the four major sports—the NHL, NFL, NBA, or MLB. In 2022, Rhéaume was hired by the Los Angeles Kings as a hockey operations and prospect adviser.

Rhéaume shares with audiences her amazing journey of chasing down a dream and refusing to be confined to stereotypes and prejudices. She draws from her book, Manon: Alone in Front of the Net on the kind of perseverance needed to go the distance and the importance of believing in yourself to achieve what everyone around you says is impossible. She is the subject of Angie Bullaro’s biographical novel, Breaking the Ice: The True Story of the First Woman to Play in the National Hockey League. Set for release in October 2020, the biography is chronicles Rhéaume's journey as the first and only woman to play in the NHL and features and afterword written by Rhéaume. 

The lone female in a male-dominate industry, Rhéaume’s uplifting story resonates with men and women alike with a very simple message: When the rules say you can’t, break the rules. Goaltending for Team Canada, she won Gold Medals at the 1992 and 1994 World Hockey Championships and was named “Best Goaltender” in both events. Rhéaume went on to help lead Team Canada to Olympic Silver at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, the first Olympic games to feature women’s hockey as an official event. 

Her ground-breaking achievement continues to inspire audiences and an entire generation of hockey players, from up-and-coming NHL pros to young girls just learning to string up their skates. She formed the Manon Rhéaume Foundation to give back to the community and the game of ice hockey by awarding scholarships to assist young women in fulfilling their aspirations. The Rheume Foundations work continues today as the Detroit Red Wings Foundation.

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