Tampa Bay Lightning: 10 Best Performances In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

9. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. St. Louis Blues

Manon Rheaume becomes first woman to play in NHL exhibition game

September 23, 1992

Not everyday does a first happen in the long standing history of the National Hockey League. For the Tampa Bay Lightning in their inaugural season in the year 1992, they were able to do just that when the team signed female goaltender Manon Rheaume and started her in a NHL exhibition game

The Lac-Beauport, Quebec native signed with the Lightning as a free agent before the start of the 1992-93 season after she attended a tryout. She was the first woman to be signed by an NHL team and began to create waves around the Tampa area even before she stepped out onto the ice for the first time.

On the night of September 23, 1992, Manon Rheaume led the Tampa Bay Lightning onto the ice to make her first career NHL start while making history in the process. The 5’7 130 lb goaltender saw a period of action in her first professional start, allowing two goals in twenty minutes of play.

Though that game in which being the first woman to play in an NHL game was special enough, Rheaume’s short stint with the Lightning would have everlasting effects on the game that are still felt to this very day.

Girls around North America saw what Rheaume was doing, and she became a role model for the next generation of woman who dream of playing the great game of hockey. The young girls that never once heard of hockey or thought playing was impossible realized that was far from the truth.

Her fame also helped create the Manon Rheaume Foundation, which provides scholarships to college-bound female athletes. To this day, woman’s hockey has continued to grow, and the game played by Rheaume has made a lasting impression on the woman’s side of the game.

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