Shannon is joined by Kendall Coyne Schofield, who recently made history as the first female in the NHL Skills Showcase, and one of her first coaches Manon Rhéaume, the first female ever to play in the NHL
Hockey Talk, sponsored by ugo Wear is presented by Shannon Miller
Podcast length: 44′ 05″
Shannon Miller’s special guests today are two women who are trail blazers and game changers, and likely asked themselves (directly or indirectly) these two questions: IF not ME, Who? IF not NOW, When? Manon Rheaume made history on September 23, 1992 by being the first female ever to play in the NHL. Manon made her debut as a goal tender for the Tampa Bay Lightening in a game against the Boston Bruins. It was a day Manon Rheaume would never forget, and an amazing moment in history for women. Kendall Coyne made history by being the first female to participate in the NHL Skills Showcase during the NHL All-Star Weekend in San Jose, CA. Kendall Coyne competed in the Fastest Skater competition, unleashing her speed to achieve an amazing time of 14.346 seconds. Kendall skated with the confidence and skill of the world class player she is, and made her mark on our journey towards equality.
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Emma Watson, known as the “Harry Potter girl”, spoke at the United Nations. Her message was about Gender Equality and she was promoting “HE for SHE.” Emma Watson was encouraging all of us to embrace Feminism, explaining that it is simply embracing equality. And her message to women and girls…
- if not me, who?
- If not now, when?
- She stated, if you have doubts when opportunity is presented to you, I hope these words can help.
My guests today are two women who are trail blazers and game changers, and likely asked themselves (directly or indirectly) these two questions: IF not ME, Who?
IF not NOW, When?
Guest Manon Rheaume made history on September 23, 1992 by being the first female ever to play in the NHL. Manon made her debut as a goal tender for the Tampa Bay Lightening in a game against the Boston Bruins. It was a day Manon Rheaume would never forget, and an amazing moment in history for women.
Welcome Manon Rheaume and please know it’s an honor to have you joining us.
Guest Kendall Coyne made history by being the first female to participate in the NHL Skills Showcase during the NHL All-Star Weekend in San Jose, CA. Kendall Coyne competed in the Fastest Skater competition, unleashing her speed to achieve an amazing time of 14.346 seconds. Kendall skated with the confidence and skill of the world class player she is, and made her mark on our journey towards equality.
Welcome Kendall Coyne – Congrats on your recent success, and I’m pleased to have you joining us.
Manon and Kendall are amazing role models for women and have both broken barriers that help bring men’s and women’s sport together. These are moments that live on forever, and this is something that I hope will bind the two of you together forever. BUT Manon and Kendall share even more than that ……
- Manon share with us how you met Kendall and what your relationship has been? (Manon coached Kendall when she was young)
- Kendall what’s your memory of Manon when you were younger and she was coaching you?
- Manon – As women, we are entrepreneurs and we have remarkable drive. We are willing to take on the man and machine and to make our own path. You achieved an amazing accomplishment as the first female to play in the NHL – take us back there, and share a little bit of that journey with us?
- Kendall – Tell us how you came to be competing in the Fastest Skater competition? Tell us what you were thinking before the race, during the race and how you felt after such a great performance? (Pressure/Mental Tough)
- Manon – being a trailblazer and game changer, and having been around the men’s and women’s game for many years – what were your thoughts when you saw Kendall compete in the NHL All Star Competition? And what was the pressure like for you heading into that NHL game?
- Kendall – tell us what happened with Pierre McGuire during the broadcast of the Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightening game when you were a guest analyst?
- I coached with Team Canada from 1991-1998 winning 3 World Championship gold medals and 1 Olympic silver in Nagano, Japan. What many might not know, is that Manon was the goal tender for 2 of those WC and the Olympic Games in Japan. Manon – talk about the importance of your time with Team Canada and what those experiences were like?
- Kendall – As women we are strong, and must continue to be, because so many that have come before us have paid a very heavy price. We have the privilege to carry the torch. I believe it’s our biggest honor. With what you’ve just accomplished do you feel like you have the honor of carrying the torch, and what does that mean to you?
- Manon – tell us about your hockey and life experiences after playing in the NHL and before playing in the 1998 Olympic Games? (played men’s pro and semi pro, had Dylan ☺ ….carrying the torch all the time….)
- Kendall is only 26 years of age and has already competed in 6 WC and 2 Olympic Games. Kendall you’ve won 5 WC gold medals and 1 silver + gold in the most recent Olympics, 2018 South Korea, and silver in 2014 Sochi, Russia. Share some of what you experienced – highs/lows – gold/silver?
- Manon and I have known each other for 28 years, becoming friends after the 1998 Olympics. When I was the HC at UMD, Manon agreed to be my goalie coach in the early years of the program, and would come to Duluth, bring her son Dylan, stay at my house and help me coach the team. We coached together, watched cartoons and played with her son, and spent some social time with friends. It was a good time in the growth of the female game and we were proud to be a part of it. It was an amazing opportunity for the UMD hockey players to have Manon as one of their coaches, and for Dylan to be with his mom around our team. Dylan has gone on to become a great young man and goaltender. Manon now has two sons, – please share a little with us about your life with Dylan and Dakoda now?
- Kendall played college hockey at North Eastern University – was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Award her senior year – top female college player in the United States. Congratulations on the Patty Kaz – and share with us what your doing now?
- Manon – Movie – Your life will be told in a movie – deservedly so – famous trail blazer – tell us about the movie “Between the Pipes”…
Kendall – congratulations on the Patty Kaz, your amazing playing career to date and your recent trail blazer performance at the NHL Skills Showcase. And Kendall, thank you for being our guest.
Manon – Congratulations on your illustrious playing and coaching career – and recently on being a special guest along side Willie O’Ree at one of the Las Vegas Knights play off games last season. I was there and saw you “crank the siren” to begin the game. Nice for you to be recognized during the NHL play offs like that – was that a fun experience?
Congratulations on your movie, well deserved, and Manon, thank you for being a guest today.
FULL TRANSCRIPT of Season 1 Episode 18
Shannon: [00:00:10] This is Season 1 Episode 18 of Hockey Talk on WiSP Sports. I’m Shannon Miller and at WiSP Sports we believe women in sport deserve equal coverage. I’m delighted to announce my sponsor Ugo. Ugo is a company started up by two women who invented a great product that could be valuable to everyone. Let’s hear more about Ugo.
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Shannon: [00:01:12] Today’s podcast is titled trailblazers and game changers. My guests Kendall Coyne and Manon Rhéaume. But first Emma Watson known as the Harry Potter girl. She spoke at the United Nations. Her message was about gender equality and she was promoting He for She. Emma Watson was encouraging all of us to embrace feminism explaining that a simply embracing equality and her message to women and girls. If not me who, if not now when. She stated if you have doubts when your opportunity is presented to you. I hope these words can help my guests today are two women who are trailblazers game changers and they likely ask themselves that question directly or indirectly. Both these questions if not me who, if not now when? One guest Manon Rhéaume she made history on September 23 1992 by being the first female ever to play in the NHL , Manon made her debut as a goaltender for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a game against the Boston Bruins. It was a day that Manon would never forget and an amazing moment in history for women. Welcome Manon. And please know it’s an honor to have you joining us thanks for having me.
[00:02:32] My other special guest is Kendall. Kendall made history by being the first female to participate in the NHL skills showcase during the NHL All-Star weekend in San Jose California. Kendall Coyne competed in the fastest skater competition and leasing her speed to achieve an amazing time of fourteen point three for six seconds. Kendall skated with the confidence and the skill of a world class player the world class player that she is and she made her mark on our journey towards equality. Welcome Kendall Coyne. Congrats on your recent success. Pleased to have you joining us as well.
Kendall: [00:03:07] Thanks for having me.
Shannon: [00:03:10] Now Manon and Kendall are amazing role models for women. They have both broken barriers that helped bring men’s and women’s sport together. These are moments that live on forever and this is something that I hope will bind the two of you together forever. But Manon and Kendall share even more than that. Manon I believe you coached Kendall when she was a young girl. Share that relationship with us.
Manon: [00:03:35] Yes years ago when I was coaching I was getting ready to bring the first all girls team to the Quebec Peewee tournament which was mostly boys tournament they had a few girls here and there playing a boys theme but never all girls played there. And someone talked to me about this young Kendall Coyne from Chicago and she joined my team and she was just an amazing player. I was so happy to have her with us. And the cool thing I remember ESPN was there and they did a show on the girls and one of the interview they asked Kendall what do you want to do later in life. And she said I wanted to play in the Olympics. So to have her coaching her and she was that young and she had a gold in the Olympics ten years later to steer the Olympics and winning a gold medal was pretty amazing.
Shannon: [00:04:28] Yes exactly. And I remember you talking to me about her a long time ago and I wanted to recruit her to Duluth. You were telling me Coach Bill when you got to get this get to play for you. And I remember that Kendall What’s your memory of Manon when she was coaching you when you were young.
Kendall: [00:04:44] Well I have a lot of amazing memories but I just remember Manon putting together such an amazing team to go over to again break another barrier at the Colback Peewee tournament and be the first all girls team and for a lot of us we were all playing boy with boys teams. So it was really the first time for most of us that we’ve ever been on a girls team and Menno lead by example as she always does and it was just so eye opening because as a first time we came together as girls and talked about we want to go to the Olympics. So why oh OK like we don’t want to go to the NHL. This is really interesting. I’ve Never had this conversation before and Menno letting guided and as she’s been doing for years leading the charge in growing the girls game as a fabulous to have a role model that has been to the Olympics and there you are a young girl and that’s your dream with my nose standing in front of you and basically leading the way in guiding you like you just said. It does have an impact on your life.
[00:05:44] Oh absolutely and up to that point I never had a female coach until Manon and Manon played in the NHL we all knew that. And just to see how strong willed she was. She didn’t take crap from anybody and that was when I was 11. So just to be able to see that at such a young age really made me believe in myself and believe I can accomplish what I set out to do.
Shannon: [00:06:08] That’s awesome and that’s a great story. So Manon as women we are entrepreneurs and we have remarkable drive. We are willing to take on the man and machine and often have to make our own path. You achieved an amazing accomplishment as the first female to play in the NHL. Most people that understand hockey and follow hockey even just a little bit know who you are. Take us back to when you played in the NHL and share a little bit of that journey with us.
Manon: [00:06:35] Yeah it was interesting when I got invited to the campfire remember a lot of people telling me you’re not afraid to look bad out there and you don’t have the experience and the guys have and they didn’t just bring you because you’re female. And I remember telling myself so many times people said no to me because I was a female. I didn’t really care why I was invited. I knew that no matter if I was a girl or boy I had to perform when I get there. And so I I didn’t want to look back and said What if I went there and went to the NHL instead of like passing on that sports and pay I just took the personal pay and went for it. So I look back now and it’s obviously the best decision of my life. The worst thing that would ever happen. It’s me not performing and move on a life. And instead I was able to have a great camp and I finish in a third of the best hemorrhaged doing the small mini tournament that we played and they started me in one of the games. So it was I have not had a better scenario than what happened there.
Shannon: [00:07:50] That was an absolutely amazing time I know and people that didn’t even follow hockey actually were tuning into that and many many people certainly my age and older know who you are and it’s so awesome to have someone like Kendall on your she’s 26 years old and you’re one of her role models and you inspired her as well so you’ve reached many many people in your short lifetime already. So Kendall tell us how you came to be competing in the fastest skater competition in the NHL skills contest.
Kendall: [00:08:20] Yeah. So I was going to San Jose. I got on a plane with the intention of demonstrating the accuracy skills competition and three are. Last year three of my teammates demonstrated in Tampa at the 2000 18 All-Star Game. So fast forward to this year there were four of us two Americans two Canadians and we were all demonstrating so we weren’t competing and then we got there and we were rehearsing and I jumped in the fastest skater competition just a rehearsal. And I got a pretty good score which would have left me in fourth place last year. And fast forward to Friday the day of the competition. Nathan MacKinnon was unable to skate and I was there. So there was a spot open and through conversations with the NHL and the NHLPA they determined that I would fulfill Nathan Scott and the Colorado Avalanche tweeted at me and said Would you would you take Nathan’s spot. And as soon as I got that call and said You’ll be the first woman to compete in the NHL all star skills competition kill’s ran through my back I had a sit down take a deep breath because I knew this moment was a moment that was going to break a lot of barriers again and change the way people conceive the game. If I succeeded again it was just it was going to be a groundbreaking moment. So I found out roughly four hours before wow amazing confidence building step up and bring that home. So Kendall literally you find out four hours before the race. Tell us what you were thinking. You said you had chills you said you knew you were probably going to break barriers. You were on you. What were you thinking if you can go a little bit deeper than that if you’re willing to the race during the race and that after before the race there was a lot going through my head. I Immediately called my parents my husband to tell him the news and I think the big thing that was going through my head was don’t I don’t want to mess this opportunity up similar to Manon I want to go there I want to perform. And what I was mostly thinking was you have one chance and one opportunity there’s no falling there’s no stumbling. This needs to be a clean skate to prove to the world that women belong in hockey. And so that was one thing with my head and then the other was just how amazing this opportunity is and I’m going to enjoy the moment. And I think if you saw it I had a smile on my face almost the whole time. And then as soon as I got to the ring my nerves started to calm down just a little bit because that felt normal to me. I’ve been in that situation before and I asked Connor McDavid if he was nervous and he told me he was a little nervous. That made me feel a little bit better about myself. I got to the starting line and the whole San Jose’s crowd erupted and started chanting USA USA which was incredible. And that just it just I just had a stand up and take it all in and just enjoy it because that’s what we do it why we do what we do. And afterwards just to see everyone’s reaction. It’s been incredible and it’s been special to see how many people have been inspired to pick up the pair to pick up a pair of skates. Boy girl whatever it is and it’s been awesome.
Shannon: [00:11:29] Well truly amazing. Great job. So model being one of the few risk takers really game changers and barrier breaking women. And you’ve been around the men’s and the women’s game for many years. What were your thoughts when you saw Kendall compete in the NHL All-Star competition?
Manon: [00:11:47] I was so excited, you have no idea having coached Kendall to be the person that she was all those years. The most amazing thing to me is she play on every team she played for me. She was always the best player but being the best player she was very humble and really she was the best teammate for everybody else. And The biggest thing is she was the hardest worker and I knew that when you get to that national team level you have a lot of good players up there you have a lot of the good players to choose from. But what can make the difference. It’s your work ethic and that’s something that she had. And I was so proud of seeing her there because I think she deserved it. Knowing her personally knowing that the impact that she has on a team. She is a humble person. She Works hard and she’s just such a great teammate and role model for the rest. I remember when we were in Michigan. I think it was a 14 years old and I was helping out my boss to coach his daughter’s team and we were not very good and he asked me if I knew some players and when I’m from Kendall differs they show up in the ring. He was tiny little thing with their baseball cab backward and I remembered my boss looking at me like Are you kidding me. Like I ask you to bring a good player and a cigar. I said Tim wait to see or skate. And she got on the ice and I think she was playing either left or right wings and I seen the puck drop. She was the further away from the park and she was the first one I got to the spot and that number my boss turning by me and dad ok we’re good. I like her. It was just leg she. You can never tell that she would be this amazing player and when she stepped on the ice she was just someone that you were like you just want to watch play so to see her there you know. In the NHL All-Star game and to know like when I played the way back in 92 we didn’t have social media. So for whatever reason if I didn’t and couldn’t aim that day the worst I would have happened. It’s my you know something in the paper that would last one day and that would have been gone. Like think about Kendall doing this in front of all those people and knowing that it’s going to be all over social media for everyone to see for the rest of the day. You know it’s a lot of pressure and offered up from that. Well it’s really amazing.
Shannon: [00:14:19] It is tremendous, it is tremendous pressure. And Kendall and Manon you both have had those moments so Kendall was tremendous pressure you must be so mentally tough to be able to do what you did and so very few people would even understand how much pressure that is. Manon does but Manon you had tremendous pressure. You skated onto the ice with the eyes of the world on you was the first female to be inept in the NHL playing against huge men having them shoot at you and come at you physically you had to be incredibly mentally tough to perform in that moment. Do you remember what you were thinking and what you were going through in your mind while you playing?
Manon: [00:15:01] Yes. The funny thing about being a goalie. First of all you need to love the pressure. If you don’t like the pressure you should pick up her position. So that was the one of the things that I love the most about being a goalie. It’s to be under that pressure to have your heart beating so hard before a game and when the game starts I remember the walk from my locker room to the ice. I never in my life felt so nervous. I’ve felt like you know my heart’s going to come out of my chest and I somehow stepped on the ice. It was like in my he plays the place that I felt good enjoy playing the game so much that I forgot that I was in the NHL game. And I was just playing the game and it was just really cool to see the transition. Being so nervous and feeling so comfortable and for whatever reason. Every time I’d been under pressure. It’s that time where the adrenaline is so high and usually at the time that I perform the bass when I have so much pressure so it was a fun day and you need to be strong. I think playing that position but he was even worse for me because I was a girl. French Canadian. I didn’t speak the language barrier while I was a rookie playing in that position and something that people didn’t know. I didn’t grow much from the time I play peewee hockey. I still have the same shoulder pads and chest protector and I was playing when I was playing with hockey. My entire body was so bruised after a week of training camp I remember them giving me like brand new show the past to make sure I don’t get hurt. But I couldn’t move in them because they were too big and too. So I play with the like barely nothing on me and I was bruised but there is no way in the world that I was not finishing the camp. My trainer everyday was adding padding to my chest protector to make sure that I had less and less bruise everyday so…but It’s just nothing would have stopped me to do what I did.
Shannon: [00:17:05] Awesome. It’s pretty funny that you’re wearing the same equipment from peewee hockey Manon.
Kendall: [00:17:11] Manon I remember reading that in your book actually.
Manon: [00:17:16] So I kept those things and NHL guys with see those thing there’s said no way you play with that.
Shannon: [00:17:23] You still have that equipment?
Manon: [00:17:25] Oh absolutely… they’re for real.
Shannon: [00:17:29] Yeah especially because your son is a goalie and we’ll get into that a little bit later.
Manon: [00:17:34] That’s right.
Shannon: [00:17:34] So Kendall just recently your guest analyst for the Pittsburgh Penguins vs the Tampa Bay Lightning game. You were there broadcasting with Pierre McGuire and there’s a little bit of controversy around that. You want to share with us what happened and what your thoughts are with all that?
Kendall: [00:17:50] Yeah I would. I would encourage people to go on my social media page to look at the release that I made publicly about the situation. You know that’s in-depth how I feel I don’t need to get into it all right now but you know Pierre was excited for me. I’ve known him here for many years. But it doesn’t overshadow the moment that I had. The moment I’ve worked for people in that position and you know to get ready to be an analyst for NHL game and in a position where in which I think we need more women. Because there are a lot of amazing women that can talk hockey. And so for me that was another barrier broken. It was another moment that I was so excited to be in and so honored to be in. And I’m not going to let that situation take over. What an amazing moment I had. So you know the way I feel about it is what what Pierre said. I understand how people took it in a negative manner and I respect that. And when I went back and looked at the film I totally understood that. And like I said in my statement I think it’s a learning situation for all. And I would encourage people to go and see what I wrote because that’s how I feel.
Shannon: [00:19:04] Well good for you. If it makes you feel any better I didn’t know anything about it until five minutes before this call tonight. And so I just read a quick article on it they haven’t had a chance to see or statement but I knew that you would proudly talk about it. And I was quite sure you would take the right path. So good for you. And you know what when something like that happens sometimes it brings more attention to the event and what’s going on and in the long run more people know about you and that you had the opportunity to be a broadcaster and you’re right we need more women talk in hockey because we can talk hockey so good for you.
Kendall: [00:19:38] Thank you.
Shannon: [00:19:41] So Kendall and Manon I coached team Canada from 1991 to 98 winning three World Championship gold medals and won Olympic silver in Nagano Japan. What many people might not know is that Manon was the goaltender for two of those world championships and for the Olympic games in Japan, if you can think back to the 1990s when we were together with Team Canada can you talk a little bit about the importance of your time with Team Canada and what those experiences were like.
Manon: [00:20:10] Actually when I was younger and most like hockey because I didn’t have any place to go and I remember seeing the national team in and try to learn more about it and it’s really like what give me that’s what kept me in a sports knowing that something was there for girls that played hockey. So for me it was like life changing to have the chance to represent your country and the World Championship or the Olympic Games and to have you as a coach as a mentor. To me it changed the way I saw the game and I learned so much from the way you coach and your preparation mental preparation and all the ups and downs you go through with a team. It’s been one of my favorite moment in sports.
Shannon: [00:21:02] Oh that’s great. And it was certainly fun to be with you on Team Canada we had a lot of highs and lows together. We’re friends now we’ll be friends forever so it’s all worth it.
Manon: [00:21:13] Absolutely so Kendall and Manon both of you are very strong women. And Kendall we all must continue to be. Because there were so many women that have come before us and they’ve paid such a heavy price and we actually have the privilege to carry the torch. And I believe it’s our biggest honor with what you’ve just accomplished. Do you feel like you have the honor of carrying the torch now and what does that mean to you.
Kendall: [00:21:38] Yeah definitely, and I think when you say carry the torch it’s also it’s important to educate the next generation on how this moment came about and now they know what they can accomplish and it’s challenging the younger generation to accomplish more than what’s been accomplished today. And I think it goes without saying that the NHL all star skills competition moment didn’t happen without all of the women’s hockey players in the world today because we’ve been putting amazing product on the ice day in and day out and people have been catching on seeing it you know TV, TV networks have been picking up our games. People have been coming into the stadiums and the word has been spreading that this women’s game is pretty good. And so without that conversation and without people talking about the game I’ve never had the opportunity to go and have have an opportunity to gain the skills competition. So I think when you are about passing the torch I also do think credit is due to every women’s player specially on the national teams who have been working day in and day out to put amazing product on the ice and especially those who have come before us like like you guys and stuff. So it know it is an honor that yes it’s definitely a responsibility to continue to pass the torch.
Shannon: [00:22:49] Well Kendall it’s so nice that you understand that. And I for one am glad that the torch is in your hands right now I think you’re going to be incredible a vaster for women’s hockey so you go girl.
Kendall: [00:23:00] Thank you.
Manon: [00:23:03] Actually my my young girls team they all love Kendall and they look up to her and it’s so cold to see. Like let’s see her when she was 11 12 years old. And now I’m coaching 12 year old girl and they all look up the candle and they love her and they are following her. So it’s nice to see that.
Kendall: [00:23:25] Well thanks Manon. In wouldn’t say they look up to me though.
Manon: [00:23:33] They love you.. .some of them are taller than you. Yeah.
Kendall: [00:23:37] I saw them a couple of weeks ago, they’re pretty tall.
Shannon: [00:23:42] Kendall you must get this all the time. I have a friend that’s a basketball coach and literally just a few days ago we were on the phone together. She said to me Oh Shannon my daughter is in Grade 1 and she’s taller than you and…but the yeah the women that have this child they are well over six feet tall and they actually had a donor that was well over six feet tall so I know what you’re going through Kendall. I get it.
Kendall: [00:24:04] Yeah. My husband’s 6′ 7″ so I keep saying I hope our kids get your height.
Shannon: [00:24:09] Oh god yes. Somewhere in the middle. The balance between the two. So Manon tell us about your hockey and life experiences after you played that game in the NHL but before playing in the 1990 Olympic Games. Because if I remember correctly you played men’s pro and semi pro hockey for about six years and you had Dylan. So you’ve been carrying the torch for a long time.
Manon: [00:24:36] Yes I you know that was an amazing opportunity for me to play pro hockey for all those year to make a living of playing the sport that I love. It was amazing especially being a female. There was a lot of pressure because every time I play I was under I knew that no matter how I play they would be in the paper on TV. But it was also a lot of fun too to play hockey for a living. So and after that I made the Olympics I had my first son Dylan and now my life kind of change my kids become my priority. And that was one thing that I have to give to my parents. We were always their priority, they always follow us everywhere. They sacrificed so much for us then. That’s how I wanted to be with my kids so I had to retire from hockey to be able to focus on my kids. And it’s been like just amazing to see their growth and they’re both playing hockey now. My oldest one plays for Team USA. And now he’s playing at Notre Dame. I know I was all dressed up in USA when he was at the World Championship in all my old team from Team Canada was sending me the messages. That color looks weird on you. But it was a lot of fun. Just for him to have accomplished that and now he’s playing college hockey and just having that bond of playing the same position and going through the same ups and downs. It’s really nice. And now my youngest one. I’m so thankful that he’s not a goalie because being the mother of a goalie is probably the worst thing in the world. It’s so nerve racking playing the game inspired by being the mother of a goal. It’s not so my youngest one now is a defense though I am having a lot of fun to help them throughout their journey and continue to coach girls hiking in the meantime.
Manon: [00:26:36] Well I know you and I have known each other for 28 years. We basically became friends after the ’98 Olympics when I was no longer your coach. And when I became the head coach at UMD and Duluth Minnesota I asked you to be my volunteer goalie coach and help the field program, that’s during the early years of the program. You agreed, do remember that, you would fly in and what you’d bring Dylan.
Manon: [00:26:59] Absolutely, he was a baby.
Shannon: [00:27:02] Yeah. Dylan was a baby and Manon and Dylan would stay at my house in Duluth and Manon coached with me and Dylan was around the team all the time. I remember Manon wanting to get on the treadmill and wanting to workout. She asked if I would watch cartoons with Dylan and she said to me just put Sponge Bob on, and I said what’s Sponge Bob. Do you remember that?
Manon: [00:27:27] Absolutely.
Shannon: [00:27:27] So I would babysit Manon’s son Dylan, so she could work out. It was so awesome. It was a good time and the girls of female hockey and we were proud to be a part of it. I remember that. And it was amazing opportunity.
Manon: [00:27:41] You had so much success with college hockey winning five title and then the lovely it was amazing to see what you accomplished too with college hockey.
Shannon: [00:27:53] Yeah we won five national championships in 15 years still holds a record and you were part of that helping me build the program from the beginning. So I thank you for that. But Manon, it was an amazing opportunity for those young players at UMD to be around you as one of their coaches and also with them just see Dillon you know you there as a mom was Dylan bringing him to the rink and having him around the team and then as we know Dylan grew up to be a great young man and goaltender. And now you’ve got Dylan and Dakota playing hockey but the girls in the UMD program I know will remember you forever as well you were a great role model for them just like you were for Kendall. So thank you for that.
Manon: [00:28:33] Thank you.
Kendall: [00:28:34] I must add that too as a young 11 year old I remember you know chasing Dylan around the rink and he would be at the peewee tournament he would take a breakaway shot because he was still skating. Manon, was he four?
Manon: [00:28:46] Was he four years old. He was four years old he was our mascot. He was taking breakaway shots before games.
Kendall: [00:28:52] Yes and it’s so fun but it’s been really cool to see Dylan grow up I remember him still as a four year old and now just being able to be friends with him and talk to him and I know you definitely have raised him the right way because I can tell how much respect he has for us as women and he has that respect equally for men. And he’s constantly reaching out to me like “good job, congrats, good luck and he’s been around the women’s game his whole life so kudos to you and he did. He’s an amazing young man and it’s been fun to follow him at Notre Dame too.
Manon: [00:29:25] Thank you very much.
Shannon: [00:29:27] And Manon I echo that. I trust.. there’s no don’t my mind that Dylan and Dakota have grown up and respect women so I know you’re a great mother and a great role model for so many. Now Kendall you’re only 26 years of age is that correct?
Kendall: [00:29:42] Yes.
Shannon: [00:29:42] And You’ve already competed in six world championships and two Olympic Games. Is that correct?
Kendall: [00:29:51] Yes.
Shannon: [00:29:52] You’ve won five world championship gold medals and one silver and gold in the most recent Olympics and toward 2018 and South Korea and silver Olympic in 2014 and Sochi Russia. I can’t believe you done this. You’re only 26 years old now.
Kendall: [00:30:10] I feel. I feel like I’m getting up there and the national team program so I’m feeling all theirs right now.
Shannon: [00:30:17] Oh no. Start with sharing some of your experiences. You could talk about the world’s winning gold, winning silver. I know the pain of that sort of mono and same with the Olympics winning gold winning silver just about anything and everything that you’d like to share with us.
Kendall: [00:30:35] Yeah I think the world championships.
Kendall: [00:30:37] It’s tough because they’re every year and it’s our biggest it’s our biggest tournament of the year. You have to wait till April to compete in it. And I think when I was in college it was always something I look forward to at the end of the season. So I was so fixated on my college season that I would focus on college and in the world championships become and be like oh flip the switch now with USA hockey time. But since I’ve been out of college and been able to just solely focus on the national team you really appreciate those moments a lot more and you look forward to that even if it becomes your life that your everyday you’re in the weight room or on the ice that’s where you’re thinking about her are those world championships and your teammates and representing your country and especially the Olympic Games. I mean you guys know there’s there’s no greater honor than putting on your your nation’s colors at the Olympic Games when you’re surrounded by elite athletes day every single day listening to their stories just you know just seeing the Olympic rings every day I mean I watch that in movies as a kid. Now I was living it. But the silver medal in 2014 was was definitely tough to swallow. You know I actually came back home and I had a different feeling than when I was there I was receiving I had tears in my eyes when I was receiving the silver medal because I was so upset we lost. And you guys can resonate with that feeling as well. You know how much it hurts but then when I came back to my hometown in Chicago and just seeing how many people it impacted how many kids wanted to see and touch and hold it and saying Good job you were amazing. I love watching women’s hockey. I can’t wait for the next Olympics. I was like scratching my head thinking Ha. OK. This is pretty cool. And it changed my perspective that this game is impacting so many more people than just a simple medal. And while weed athletes we want to win we want to be the best. That’s what I took out of that that journey and you know got fast worrying to so earth to Korea 2018. I didn’t know what it was like to win. I didn’t know what that feeling was at the highest level. And so after we won I think that acts as more motivation to want to get back there now knowing the feeling of being on top versus the feeling of losing and wanting to get to the top.
Shannon: [00:32:57] Yeah. No kidding. Hey Manon, you want to add anything to that.
Manon: [00:33:04] You know one of the things that she said obviously we were very disappointed too. We call it winning the silver instead of losing the game. We were very disappointed by a member … and making a comment to the media after that game and said This is the first time at Olympic game that women’s team or a word medals and an ice hockey and we should be proud of that. Because when you watched the Olympics if you watch any other sports anybody that wins the gold silver or bronze they’re so excited. And it was kind of weird for us to to win the silver and be all crying. So when you look at it like when you look back and you look at all the other sports and you realize that you’re all doing an Olympic medal. I think your perception changed. But at the moment it’s like Kendall said it’s hard to even think about being excited. You just lost the game.
Shannon: [00:34:08] Oh there’s no question. And you know we’ll share something with you now. I felt so much pressure. I was the only female head coach at the Olympic Games for hockey and I was not only the only female I was the youngest. And Canada were expected to win back then and I just felt so much pressure and obviously I handled the pressure the best I could. But I mean I can’t even tell you how much pressure I felt and so Manon when we did not win I felt like I’ve been crushed you know when you crusher a pop can to put it in the recycle bin. That’s pretty much how I felt. We’re just crushed but that I was standing on the blue line and I watched Team USA get their gold medals and everything inside me changed and I’m really proud of you that you remember that because that was my response to the media was I had a very proud moment that I was standing on the blue line watching female hockey players receive an Olympic gold medal for the first time ever in the history of our world and yes silver was not the color that I wanted but so proud to be part of that journey and making history in that moment. And that has saved me from some of the pain but of course it’s painful when you don’t win gold and that’s what you’ve sacrificed everything to win gold. And if I can send one message out there is just to people in general and that is please support your Olympians whether they win Olympic gold silver or bronze because they’ve given up everything to compete for their country and they’re already feeling enough pain if they don’t come home with the color medal that they want. So help prop them up and support them no matter what and that is one thing that I take away from my Olympic silver experience.
Kendall: [00:35:55] Yeah and I must add to say thank you to both of you trailblazers because there was a little six year old girl sitting in a house in Chicago not really understanding her comprehending the game of hockey but looking to my parents and say I want to go to the Olympics because I saw women playing hockey for the first time.
Kendall: [00:36:12] So thank you.
Shannon: [00:36:12] Well you’re welcome and thank you for that. Kendall isn’t that amazing that there are not too many years later there’s Manon Annette… and you’re watching her on the blue line probably crying with the rest of the players unfortunately. And you’re watching both teams. And then just a few years later she’s your coach. It’s pretty cool.
Kendall: [00:36:31] Right. Yeah seriously like not much less than almost five years later it’s insane. And I don’t remember comprehending the game that much. I was so young I just kind of remember like ponytails and I was like How are those girls like OK. But then I met Cammie Granato shortly after that and that’s when I was a little bit.. I was seven that summer so I was a little bit older and comprehended a little bit more when you physically hold something and as Billie Jean King always says you can’t you can’t see, and I I saw her and I was like that’s what I want to do.
Shannon: [00:37:03] Exactly. So Kendall I know this will surprise you but Manon was amazing. She was amazing the entire Olympic year; she was very calm and she was a real leader on the team and she actually helped keep me calm I’ve never told her that before but I’ll tell her now because she just had such a calm presence. I think after being what she had been through in the NHL this was maybe just a little bit easier for her is that true Manon?
Manon: [00:37:28] It definitely helped me and I think to the maturity when you get holder. I remember being so superstitious and if I didn’t do something a certain way. And as you get older you realize that you create you know your personality and being calm and you know if you prepare yourself the best you can be that’s the best you can do. So putting extra pressure was nice but it’s something that doesn’t you need to go through the differing pressure situation to be able to handle it that way.
Shannon: [00:37:59] Yeah exactly. Now Manon can we talk about the movie, is that allowed?
Manon: [00:38:08] Oh it’s cool. Yes we can, it’s just, it’s been a long process. It’s very interesting because the journey of putting the movie together right now reminds me a lot of the journey that I had to go through playing the ups and down and I’m getting closer and and adding to. So you know when we’re getting closer obviously it takes a lot of time throughout the process. We had to deal with a couple of which few changes. But it’s exciting to think that a few people are working so hard to make that story happen and. And truthfully it’s to continue to help inspiring people when they approached me when she … approached me and she said I want to do a movie that is a female lead and I want to inspire people and that’s what got me into that movie. Because when I play in Tampa Bay I didn’t realize the impact that would have on young girls, on girls like Kendall and just when they and play hockey. And it’s not until later in life when I have moms that come up to me and said like you’re such an inspiration for my daughter. My son did a project in school or someone had their poster of me in their bedroom and they every day they high five my poster. Before it goes somewhere because they want to accomplish something. That’s when you realize that your story impacted people positively so that movie it’s a little bit to kind of inspire the next generation of people that was not born in a night played by the kennel. They can see that woman can do some thing in a man’s world in that it’s not just woman. But I think even men often get placed in situations people doesn’t believe in you. And so to see someone that can accomplish something that people didn’t believe in I think that helps everyone.
Shannon: [00:40:13] Oh for sure. So Manon Rhéaume life is going to be told through a movie as a trailblazer and a game changer I think that’s very appropriate. Manon is the movie going to be called Between the Pipes?
Manon: [00:40:29] That’s the title if nothing changed.
Shannon: [00:40:31] OK. So we’ll wait.
Manon: [00:40:32] Yes.
Shannon: [00:40:33] We’ll wait and watch for that movie between the pipes with manorial. That’s awesome Manon, congratulations, [Manon: thank you] on your illustrious playing and coaching career and on being a special guest alongside Willie O’Ree at one of the Las Vegas nights playoff games last season. I was there and I saw you crank the siren in the game is that a good experience.
Manon: [00:40:59] It was a it was a lot of fun. I was laughing the funniest part. I think it’s when I got the call and someone asked me to do this. I was in the living room and my oldest son Dylan look at me is like mom you’re always a pressure you’re going to be the one that’s going to set the tone for the entire like fanfare and they ended up is like you can just go all day and be a wimp and not be able to turn this day. And like I was getting nervous. Are you kidding me. I have pressure now of cranking up that thing because if I don’t do it well. So it was funny. My son I think was more nervous that I embarrass not be able to crank that thing that anything else.
Shannon: [00:41:43] I was there witnessed it in person you could tell your son you did fantastic I was very proud of you. It was pretty cool. You were there with Willie O’Ree. I actually met Willie O’Ree in Duluth when I was coaching at UMD and he’s obviously a trailblazer as well.
Manon: [00:41:56] No, that was really fun to be you know doing this with them and to be part of you know the whole Las Vegas journey too.
Shannon: [00:42:09] Exactly. And Kendall you had a great playing career at Northeastern University. You were awarded the Patty Kazmaier Award your senior year. Congratulations for that. That’s the top honor for female hockey player in college hockey so congrats.
Kendall: [00:42:22] Thank you.
Shannon: [00:42:27] And congratulations on your amazing playing career to date at the young age of 26 as well as your recent groundbreaking performance at the NHL skills showcase. And thank you so much for being our guest.
Kendall: [00:42:39] Thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to join both of you. You know it’s been fun to be able to follow in your footsteps and try and break barriers along the way.
Jingle: [00:42:52] Conversations from a world of women’s sports.
Shannon: [00:43:02] Well thank you to Kendall. Thanks to Manon. Thank you for listening and enjoy the game. Follow following comment on social media. Twitter is up WiSP Sports. My Twitter is @Miller12Shannon, my Facebook and Instagram is @coachShannonMiller. My Web site is coach Shannon Miller.com. Check out the latest Drill of the Week that I post on Thursdays on my Facebook page. You can find links in the show notes for this episode atwispsports.com and find more coverage of women’s sport. Thanks for supporting women in sport everywhere.