For some reason, Manon Rhéaume, former-NHL hockey goalie, seems to fly under the radar when it comes to accomplished women athletes in the world.
Tennis player Serena Williams and Olympic soccer star Alex Morgan are both constantly recognized for their accomplishments and are said to be the epitome of women athletes.
Rhéaume should be recognized alongside Williams and Morgan for her accomplishments throughout her career.
Rhéaume was born in Beauport, Quebec, Canada, where she excelled in the sport of ice hockey.
She was no ordinary player, however. Her path to playing professional hockey was lead by playing goalie. Rhéaume was an extraordinary goalie growing up.
Her journey started in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Trois-Rivières Draveurs. The league she played for was actually a league filled with incredibly-talented men who were looking to get drafted into the National Hockey League. This league is also where other professional leagues tend to look for new and upcoming players.
Playing in this league as a young adult was a great chance for Rhéaume to get exposure and open up her professional hockey career options.
After her first major role as goalie in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, she then played for 13 other teams in seven different leagues in the United States, Canada and Austria.
Rhéaume’s journey was nothing short of adventurous and hectic, but what she accomplished during her journey is even more spectacular.
She was invited to represent her home country of Canada multiple times in tournaments, where she excelled.
In the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, Rhéaume helped her team bring home a silver medal to Canada.
In 1992 and in 1994, she accomplished a significant hurdle: helping her International Ice Hockey Federation Canadian team bring home the gold medal.
These accomplishments were impressive to say the least, but the one achievement that truly surpasses the others was Rhéaume stepping on a professional sheet of ice.
Yes, there were professional leagues she played in previously. This one exceeded them all, however, because it was the best and biggest league in the world: The National Hockey League.
The Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL decided to give Rhéaume a chance and signed her to a professional contract. Although Rhéaume was only with the team for a year in the 92–93 season, she played in a few exhibition games with the Lightning, where she made her historic run.
Even though she didn’t stick around in the NHL for long, the fact that she stepped on the ice with some of the best players in the world at that time is an incredible accomplishment.
Rhéaume has been retired since her last season in 2009, but she is still active in the hockey community. She dropped the puck in the first ever National Women’s Hockey League game in 2015, where she was also recognized for her accomplishments as a player.