Ken Dryden has represented Canada on the hockey rink and in the trenches of government. He has been an author, businessman, law graduate, member of parliament, cabinet minister…and one of the greatest hockey goaltenders of all time.
Dryden was drafted by the National Hockey League (NHL)’s Boston Bruins and traded to the Montreal Canadiens in his late teens. He decided to pursue his undergraduate degree at Cornell, not returning to play with the Canadiens until 1971, when he made his NHL debut and took the team all the way to the Stanley Cup.
In the autumn of 1972, Dryden played for victorious Team Canada in the unforgettable Summit Series against the Soviet national ice hockey team. He then went on to form the backbone of five Stanley Cup-winning teams with the Canadiens, taking a year off in his prime to complete a law degree at McGill. Dryden’s hockey career was relatively short, lasting just over seven full seasons, but he was ranked by The Hockey News as the 25th greatest NHL player of all time, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
After retiring from hockey, Dryden devoted himself to writing and authored five books, including The Game, considered one of the greatest books about the game. He served as Ontario’s first youth commissioner from 1984 to 1986; and was president of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1997-2003.
Dryden took the plunge into politics in 2004 and was elected to Parliament; he later served in Cabinet as Minister of Social Development. He was credited with negotiating early-learning and child care deals with all 10 provinces.