Next year there will be a life-size bronze statue of Manon Rhéaume outside of the Videotron Centre in Quebec, QC. Her statue is expected to be installed by the end of next September.
As a child, Rhéaume was the first female goaltender to play in the International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in Quebec City. The statue will depict her playing in that tournament as a girl.
Rhéaume, who is from Beauport, QC, won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano and two gold medals at the IIHF Women’s World Championships. However, she is best known to most of the hockey world as the first woman to play in the NHL.
Rhéaume tried out for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992 and appeared in two preseason games for the team, against the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins. Following that display of her talent, Rhéaume made history again by becoming the first woman to compete in a men’s professional league, playing for the Atlanta Knights of the IHL.
There has been a lot of buzz about Rhéaume being a worthy candidate to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame, both as a player and a builder. She’s currently a coach for the Little Caesars team and in Detroit and a keynote speaker. If (and when) Rhéaume is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder, she would be the first woman to enter the Hall in that category. It’s an honor that she deserves for forever changing the game and inspiring generations of girls across the globe to play the game that she has given so much to.
Rhéaume’s won’t be the only new artwork — former NHL defenseman Sylvain Côté is also getting a statue outside of the Videotron Centre. Côté played 1,171 games in the NHL and was a first-round pick of the Hartford Whalers in the 1984 Draft.