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Ken Dryden

Photo of Ken Dryden

One of the greatest goaltenders of his era, Ken Dryden is known for being goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens dynasty in the 1970s. Born in Hamilton in 1957 and raised in Islington, Dryden was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 1964 NHL Draft. The Bruins then immediately traded Dryden’s rights to the Montreal Canadiens. Instead of signing with the Canadiens, Dryden played college hockey for the Cornell Big Red, Backstopping Cornell to the 1967 NCAA Championship and leading Cornell to 3 consecutive ECAC Championships. Throughout his college career, Dryden won 76 of 81 starts. After graduating from Cornell in 1969, Dryden spent the 1969/70 season with the Canadian National Team before joining the Montreal Canadiens for the 1970/71 season. After spending the majority of the year in the minors, Dryden played 6 games for the Canadiens near the end of the 1970/71 season, winning all of them while carrying a 1.65 GAA. Due to his late season performance, the Canadiens stuck with Dryden for the 1971 playoffs. Montreal would defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in 7 games to win the Stanley Cup and Dryden would win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. In Dryden’s first full NHL season in 1971/72, he appeared in 64 games, winning 39 of them. As a result of a strong first full year in the NHL, Dryden was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL Rookie of The Year. Dryden became the first and only player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy before winning the Calder Memorial Trophy. After another strong 1972/73 season, which saw Dryden win his 2nd Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy as the NHL top goaltender, Dryden took the 1973/74 season off to complete his law degree at McGill University. Dryden would return to the Canadiens for the 1974/75 season. Beginning with the 1975/76 season, the Canadiens solidified themselves as a true dynasty, willing the 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979 Stanley Cups. Dryden also won the Vezina Trophy in all of those years. After the Canadiens 1979 Stanley Cup victory, Dryden retired from hockey at the age of 31. Since retiring from hockey, Dryden has pursued several avenues. Dryden is an accomplished author, having written several books and served as a colour commentator for the 1980, 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympic Games. From 1997 until 2004, Dryden served as President of the Toronto Maple Leafs. After leaving the Leafs in 2004, Dryden joined the Liberal Party of Canada, representing Toronto’s York Centre, a position he held until 2011. Dryden currently lives in Toronto with his wife Lynda and has 2 children and 4 grandchildren.