MANON RHÉAUME, FIRST FEMALE HOCKEY PLAYER TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
“ On Sept. 23, 1992, Manon Rhéaume became the first woman to play in any of the major professional North American sports leagues when she appeared for a period in an exhibition game for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the St. Louis Blues. Leading the Lightning onto the ice in the franchise’s first home game against a veteran-laden Blues squad, Rhéaume stopped seven of nine shots and left the game after one period with the score tied 2-2.
Though Rhéaume would never see another minute of NHL action – and despite the fact she was brought in largely as a publicity stunt – her presence at Lightning training camp in 1992 provided a massive boost to women’s hockey and inspired a generation of girls to pick up the sport, a growth that has continued unabated for the past 20 years. ”