Two-time U.S. Olympic silver medalist Hilary Knight said she hopes to play in an NHL preseason game one day after becoming the believed-to-be first female skater (non-goalie) to practice with a full NHL team with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I just wanted to slide in and pretend like I’m one of the guys,” Knight said, according to the newspaper. “I’m one of those women who likes to push boundaries, continue to push the envelope, and I have the frame and stature to blend in. It was a great opportunity.”
Knight, who co-led the U.S. with six points in Sochi and seven assists in Vancouver, is still on the U.S. Women’s National Team. She’s set to play in the Four Nations Cup next month.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said it’s “conceivable” Knight could play in an NHL exhibition at some point, according to the newspaper.
“Never say never … if she can play that well in this practice, that can happen,” Boudreau said.
Goalies have practiced and played in NHL exhibition games, most recently Canadian Olympic champion Shannon Szabados practicing with the Edmonton Oilers in March.
Szabados and Finland goalie Noora Raty currently play in men’s leagues.
Five-time Canadian Olympic forward Hayley Wickenheiser participated in Philadelphia Flyers’ prospects camps in 1998 and 1999.
Retired Canadian Olympic goalie Manon Rheaume played in NHL exhibition games in 1992 and 1993.
Here are videos and photos of Knight from Friday: