Over the years, there have been many women who have taken on the men in professional ice hockey, starting with Manon Rheaume in 1992. With the increasing physicality of play at the NHL, it is difficult to imagine a woman being able to successfully play at that level for an extended time. If anything, goaltender is the most likely position that they could be competitive.
- Manon Rheaume - became the first woman to play in an NHL game, in 1992 she played in goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the St. Louis Blues in an exhibition game, then again in an exhibition game against the Boston Bruins in 1993.
- Erin Whitten - was the first female goalie to win a game in a men’s professional hockey when she played for the East Coast Hockey League’s Toledo Storm in 1993. Three years later, she took off her pads and skated around the ice for 18 seconds to become the first non-goaltender to play in the pros.
- Danielle Dube - The one-time Canadian national team goaltender made West Coast Hockey League history in 1995 when she signed a contract with the Bakersfield Condors. But it took seven years before she actually made a regular season appearance with the Long Beach Ice Dogs.
- Hayley Wickenheiser - the first woman to score a goal while playing for a men's professional hockey team. In two seasons with Finnish team Salamat in 2003 and 2004, she scored two goals and 11 points.
- Angela Ruggiero - she signed a one-game contract with the Tulsa Oilers in 2005 and became the first female skater to play in the Central Hockey League.
- Shannon Szabados - she made her debut as a goaltender in the Southern Professional League for the Columbus Cottonmouths against Knoxville Ice Bears on March 2014. In December 2015, she became the first woman to record a shutout in a men's professional hockey league.