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Manon Rhéaume: Making hockey history

The Story

Sept. 23, 1992: Manon Rhéaume makes history when she steps onto NHL ice. She becomes the first woman to play professional hockey. The native Quebecer plays net for the Tampa Bay Lightning as part of an exhibition game against the St. Louis Blues. Critics of general manager Phil Esposito say it's just a gimmick. Even Front Page Challenge panellist Allan Fotheringham asks guest Rhéaume if she's a victim of a publicity stunt. Rhéaume answers her critics by saying she did it for the love of the game and that she wasn't about to let a great opportunity pass her by. While Rhéaume fails to be a dominant force in men's hockey, the buzz created by her NHL debut and her contract with the Lightning's farm team Atlanta Knights leads the International Olympic Committee to include women's ice hockey as a full medal sport at the 2002 Olympics.

Medium: Television
Program: Front Page Challenge
Broadcast Date: Nov. 14, 1992
Guest: Manon Rhéaume
Host: Fred Davis
Panellist: Pierre Berton, Allan Fotheringham, Betty Kennedy, Jack Webster
Duration: 10:38
Please contact the Writers Guild of Canada at 416-979-7907 if you are able to identify the writer of this clip.

Did You know?

• During her first NHL game, Manon Rhéaume tended net for 20 minutes, stopping seven out of nine shots.

• Rhéaume was asked to pose nude for Playboy for a reported sum of $75,000 but declined.

• In 1998, Rhéaume was part of the first ever Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey Team. The team won silver in Nagano, Japan.

• "It's never been easy. But I've always wanted to play hockey. I love hockey. I'd rather play hockey than do anything else. If you have that kind of desire, I think you can achieve what you want to achieve." -- Manon Rhéaume

• Rhéaume was born on Feb. 24, 1972, in Lac Beauport, Que.

• Rhéaume continues to remain active in hockey, coaching a girl's hockey team and playing with the University of Minnesota's Duluth women's team.

• Rhéaume currently (2003) heads the global marketing for women's hockey at Mission Hockey, an equipment manufacturer based in California. rheaume


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