Dryden in 2011
|Alma mater||Cornell University (BA)|
McGill University (LLB)
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
for York Centre
Kenneth Wayne Dryden, , (born August 8, 1947) is a Canadian politician, lawyer, businessman, author, and former National Hockey League (NHL) goaltender. He is an officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Dryden was a Liberal Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011, and served as a cabinet minister from 2004 to 2006. In 2017, Dryden was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history. He received the Order of Hockey in Canada in 2020.
Dryden was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1947. His parents were Murray Dryden (1911-2004) and Margaret Adelia Campbell (1912-1985). He has a sister, Judy, and a brother, Dave, who was also an NHL goaltender. Dryden was raised in Islington, Ontario, then a suburb of Toronto. He played with the Etobicoke Indians of the Metro Junior A Hockey League as well as Humber Valley Packers of the Metro Toronto Hockey League.
Dryden was drafted fourteenth overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1964 NHL Amateur Draft. Days later, June 28, Boston traded Dryden, along with Alex Campbell, to the Montreal Canadiens for Paul Reid and Guy Allen. Dryden was told by his agent that he had been drafted by the Canadiens and did not find out until the mid-1970s that he had been drafted by the Bruins.
Rather than play for the Canadiens in 1964, Dryden pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Cornell University, where he also played hockey until his graduation in 1969. He backstopped the Cornell Big Red to the 1967 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship and to three consecutive ECAC tournament championships, and won 76 of his 81 varsity starts. At Cornell, he was a member of the Quill and Dagger society. He also was a member of the Canadian amateur national team at the 1969 World Ice Hockey Championships tournament in Stockholm.
Dryden's jersey number 1 was retired by the Cornell Big Red on February 25, 2010; along with Joe Nieuwendyk, he is one of only two players to have their numbers retired by Cornell's hockey program.
Dryden made his NHL debut on March 20, 1971 in a home game against his brother Dave Dryden, a fellow backup goaltender for Buffalo Sabres, when Rogie Vachon suffered an injury, which still stands as of 2019, where a pair of brothers faced against each other. He was called up from the minors late in the season and played only six regular-season games, but rang up an impressive 1.65 goals-against average. This earned him the starting goaltending job for the playoffs ahead of veteran All-Star Rogie Vachon, and he helped the Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs. He helped the Habs win five more Stanley Cups in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.
The following year Dryden won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year; he was not eligible for it the previous year because he did not play enough regular season games. He is the only player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy before winning the rookie of the year award, and the only goaltender to win both the Conn Smythe and the Stanley Cup before losing a regular season game. In the autumn of 1972 Dryden played for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet national ice hockey team.
Dryden played from 1971 to 1979, with a break during the entire 1973-74 season; he was unhappy with the contract that the Canadiens offered him, which he considered less than his market worth, given that he had won the Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy. He announced on September 14, 1973 that he was joining the Toronto law firm of Osler, Hoskins and Harcourt as a legal clerk for the year, for $135 a week. He skipped training camp and held out that season. The Canadiens still had a good year, going 45-24-9, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Rangers in six games. The Canadiens allowed 56 more goals in the 1973-74 season than they had the year before with Dryden. Dryden used that year to fulfill the requirements for his law degree at McGill and article for a law firm. He retired for the last time on July, 9, 1979.
Compared to those of most other great hockey players, Dryden's NHL career was very short: just over seven full seasons. Thus he did not amass record totals in most statistical categories. As he played all his years with a dynasty and retired before he passed his prime, his statistical percentages are unparalleled. His regular season totals include a .790 winning percentage, a 2.24 goals against average, 46 shutouts, and 258 wins, only 57 losses and 74 ties in just 397 NHL games. He won the Vezina Trophy five times as the goaltender on the team who allowed the fewest goals and in the same years was selected as a First Team All-Star. In 1998, he was ranked number 25 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, a remarkable achievement for a player with a comparatively brief career.
At 6 foot 4 inches, Dryden was so tall that during stoppages in play he struck what became his trademark pose: leaning upon his stick. He was known as the "four-storey goalie", once referred to as 'that thieving giraffe', by Boston Bruins superstar Phil Esposito, in reference to Dryden's skill and his height. Unbeknownst to him, his pose was exactly the same as the one struck by fellow Canadiens goaltender, Georges Vezina, 60 years ago.
Dryden was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, as soon as he was eligible. His jersey number 29 was retired by the Canadiens on January 29, 2007. He was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Dryden wrote one book during his hockey career: Face-Off at the Summit. It was a diary about Team Canada in the Canada vs. Soviet Union series of 1972. The book has been out of print for many years. It is a fairly standard account, unlike The Game which frequently digresses to matters and events off the ice.
After retiring from hockey Dryden wrote several more books. The Game was a commercial and critical success, and was nominated for a Governor General's Award in 1983. His next book, Home Game: Hockey and Life in Canada (1990), written with Roy MacGregor, was developed into an award-winning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation six-part documentary series for television. His fourth book was The Moved and the Shaken: The Story of One Man's Life (1993). His fifth book, In School: Our Kids, Our Teachers, Our Classrooms (1995), written with Roy MacGregor, was about Canada's educational system. Becoming Canada (2010) argued for a new definition of Canada and its unique place in the world.
Dryden worked as a television hockey commentator at the 1980, 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympics. He served as a colour commentator with play-by-play man Al Michaels for the American Broadcasting Company's coverage of the "Miracle on Ice". Just seconds before Mike Eruzione's game-winning goal for the USA, Dryden expressed his concern that the U.S. was "relying a little too much on [goaltender] Jim Craig" after Craig had just made a series of great saves.
In 1997, Dryden was hired as president of the Toronto Maple Leafs by minority owner Larry Tanenbaum. Pat Quinn became head coach in 1998, and there were reports that the two men had a frosty relationship. A few months after joining the Leafs, Quinn became general manager, a move thought by some to preempt Dryden from hiring former Canadiens teammate Bob Gainey.
On August 29, 2003, with the hiring of John Ferguson, Jr. as general manager, there was a major management shakeup. Majority owner Steve Stavro was bought out by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and he stepped down as chairman in favour of Larry Tanenbaum. Quinn continued as head coach. Dryden's position was abolished, in favour of having both the Leafs' and Raptors' managers reporting directly to MLSE President and CEO Richard Peddie. Dryden was shuffled to the less important role of vice-chairman and given a spot on MLSE's board of directors. This was described by commentators as "sitting outside the loop", as Dryden did not report directly to Leafs ownership. He stayed on until 2004 when he resigned to enter politics.
From January 2012 to present, Dryden has been a "Special Visitor" at his alma mater McGill University's Institute for the Study of Canada. He teaches a Canadian Studies course entitled "Thinking the Future to Make the Future", which focuses on issues facing Canada in the future and possible solutions to them.
Dryden joined the Liberal Party of Canada and ran for the House of Commons in the 2004 federal election. He was selected by party leader and Prime Minister Paul Martin as a "star candidate" in the Toronto riding of York Centre, then considered a safe Liberal riding.
Dryden was elected by a margin of over 11,000 votes. He was named to Cabinet as Minister of Social Development. He made headlines on February 16, 2005, as the target of a remark by Conservative Member of Parliament Rona Ambrose who said about Dryden, "working women want to make their own choices, we don't need old white guys telling us what to do." Ambrose made the remarks after Dryden commented on a poll that analyzed child care choices by Canadian families. Dryden won generally favourable reviews for his performance in Cabinet.
Dryden was re-elected in the 2006 federal election; however, the Liberals were defeated and Paul Martin resigned the party leadership. Interim party and opposition leader Bill Graham named Dryden to his shadow cabinet as health critic.
Dryden's margin of victory in York Centre dwindled in the 2006 and 2008 elections. In the 2011 federal election, he focused his efforts on his own re-election instead of campaigning for other candidates as he did in the past, and he received a visit from former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Still, Dryden lost his seat to Conservative candidate Mark Adler by nearly 6,000 votes.
On April 28, 2006, Dryden announced that he would run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, which would be choosing a successor to Paul Martin at a convention in Montreal on December 2, 2006.
A poll found that Dryden's potential pool of support exceeded that of his opponents, due mainly to his former NHL career. However, his fundraising efforts left him well behind the top tier of leadership contenders (Michael Ignatieff, Gerard Kennedy, Stéphane Dion and Bob Rae). A variety of media pundits criticized Dryden's ponderous speaking style and limited French. Supporters argued that few people were strongly opposed to him and that if he ran he could attract more support on later ballots as a consensus candidate.
At the convention, Dryden came in fifth place on the first ballot with 238 delegates, 4.9% of the vote. On the second ballot, he came in last place with 219 votes (4.7%) and was eliminated. He initially threw his support to Bob Rae, but after Rae was eliminated in the third ballot and released all of his delegates, Dryden endorsed Stéphane Dion, who went on to win the leadership.
According to Elections Canada filings, as of 2013 Dryden's campaign still owed $225,000.
Dryden and his wife Lynda have two children and four grandchildren. He is a first cousin, twice removed, of Murray Murdoch, another former NHL player and a longtime coach of Yale University's hockey team. His brother Dave, also played in the NHL as a goalie from 1961 to 1980.
|All-ECAC First Team||1966-67|
|AHCA East All-American||1966-67|
|ECAC Hockey All-Tournament First Team||1967|
|NCAA All-Tournament First Team||1967|||
|All-ECAC First Team||1967-68|
|AHCA East All-American||1967-68|
|ECAC Hockey All-Tournament First Team||1968|
|NCAA All-Tournament Second Team||1968|||
|All-ECAC First Team||1968-69|
|AHCA East All-American||1968-69|
|ECAC Hockey All-Tournament First Team||1969|
|NCAA All-Tournament Second Team||1969|||
* Shared with Michel Larocque.
|1963-64||Humber Valley Packers||MTHL||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|1965-66||Cornell Big Red||ECAC||Played on the freshman team. NCAA freshman ineligible rule was in effect (1954-1973)|
|1966-67||Cornell Big Red||ECAC||27||26||0||1||1646||40||4||1.46||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|1967-68||Cornell Big Red||ECAC||29||25||2||0||1620||41||6||1.52||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|1968-69||Cornell Big Red||ECAC||27||25||2||0||1578||47||3||1.79||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|1973-74||Montreal Canadiens||NHL||Did not play (contract dispute)|
"Dryden's stats". The Goaltender Home Page. Retrieved .
|27th Ministry - Cabinet of Paul Martin|
|Cabinet post (1)|
|Liza Frulla||Minister of Social Development
|Awards and achievements|
| ECAC Hockey Most Outstanding Player in Tournament
| ECAC Hockey Player of the Year
| Winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy
| Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
| Winner of the Vezina Trophy
Tony Esposito and Bernie Parent (tied)
| Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Michel Larocque (1977, 1978, 1979)
1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
Don Edwards and Bob Sauvé
| NHLPA President
| General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs