Doug Harvey

There is little doubt that Wayne Gretzky is the greatest playmaker ever. But have you ever considered who should be second?

How about Doug Harvey. He was the key to the Flying Frenchmen's fire wagon hockey that saw them win an unparalleled 5 consecutive Stanley Cups in the 1950s. In doing so Harvey revolutionized hockey with the introduction of transition offense.

The superstar-laden team featured names like Jacques Plante, Tom Johnson, Bernie Geoffrion, Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau and Dickie Moore. While the Habs had a collection of Hall of Famers that were compiled to form arguably the greatest team in history, Doug was the key to their attack.

Prior to Doug's arrival most teams used monstrous sized defenders who relied more on brawn than puck skills. Once they had muscled off attackers and retrieved the puck, they would simply bang the puck off of the boards or glass, and hope the forwards could pick up the puck in the neutral zone. Some teams were lucky enough to have skilled defensemen like Red Kelly, Babe Pratt or Flash Hollett. They would be given the green light to rush the puck out of the zone, not unlike defensemen post-Bobby Orr, but coaches always had the forwards fall back defensively. Without skilled forwards to give the puck to, the rushing defender was truly on a solo mission.

The first key to Doug's success was he was a flawless defender. Doug was so superb in one on one defensive battles that he would routinely steal the puck off the attacker as though he were picking cherries. He would rarely be beaten, and his teammates knew it.

Even more impressive was Doug's ability with the puck. He would rarely simply dump the puck out of the zone. He would be able to gain control of the puck and never give it up. At first he would drive fans and coaches crazy, as he wandered in front of the net with fore-checkers zooming in, but more often than not he would remain calm, and in an unhurried fashion spot a streaking forward with a pinpoint pass. Because of t his uncanny ability Montreal's superstar forwards could afford stay high and loosen up on their backchecking duties. This created the transition game known as fire wagon hockey.

Harvey was also the quarterback of such a devastating power play that it was decided in 1956 to change the rules and allow a player to return to the ice if his team surrendered a power play goal.

Unlike a Bobby Orr or Paul Coffey, Doug wouldn't rush the puck out of his own zone. His thinking was the puck can move faster than any player on the ice, so why not utilize that as a tactic? He had this unique ability to draw in a forechecker which would then open up more ice for his teammates. Perhaps a little reminiscent of a modern day Chris Pronger, Harvey would then plant a perfect pass to one of his forwards, creating an odd-man rush. In doing so, Harvey controlled the game perhaps better than any player in history. More often than not he would rag the puck to slow the game down, but he also knew exactly when to catch the other team by surprise with a perfectly placed pass into an open lane.

Doug Harvey played 21 seasons in professional hockey, 14 of them with the Montreal Canadiens, including six Stanley Cup championships. In 1113 games, Harvey scored 88 goals, but it was his 452 career assists that most impress. He was named to the NHL's First All-Star team 10 times, and once to the Second team. An outstanding baseball and football player as well, he also won the Norris Trophy seven times, emblematic of the best defenseman in hockey.

As a standout on the Canadiens' teams that won five straight Stanley Cups in the 1950's, Doug is ranked by many as one of the greatest defensemen in hockey history. He, Orr and Eddie Shore rank as the usual three suspects, with the expected, and often warranted, consideration to the most modern of defensemen such as Ray Bourque or Denis Potvin.

While almost everyone concedes Bobby Orr is the greatest defenseman of all time, there is the odd oldtimer who will insist it is in fact Doug Harvey.

"As far as I'm concerned," said Harvey's long time coach Toe Blake, who also witnessed modern defensemen like Orr and Paul Coffey, "he's far and away the best defensemen ever."

His statistics are hard to translate into modern times, but perhaps former Hab Hal Laycoe summed up Harvey's measurable contributions best:

If the game was 8-2, Doug Harvey might have a goal and an assist. If the score was 3-2, he'd have 2 or 3 points."

However Doug Harvey was also a troubling personality. He drove his teammates and coaches crazy with his tardiness, stubbornness and often berating ways. Years later it would be determined Harvey was suffering from bipolar disorder, a manic-depressive disease. Back then not much was known about the illness. All the Montreal Canadiens knew was Harvey was becoming harder and harder to put up with, particularly his heavy drinking.

In 1961-62 Doug was traded to the New York Rangers, where he became a player-coach. Preferring to play, he gave up the responsibility of coaching after one season. He preferred as he said, "to go out and take a beer with the boys".

Doug was eventually traded to Detroit, although he only played two games for them. In 1968-69, Doug was acquired by the expansion St. Louis team, and he finished off his playing career that year by helping the Blues reach the Stanley Cup finals.

Doug Harvey is perhaps the greatest all-around defenseman of all time. He was not as offensively gifted as Bobby Orr but controlled in much the same degree if only a contrasting style. He was not as hard hitting as Eddie Shore, but he was known as one of the most physical yet clean defenders of his time.

But he could be mean if the situation called for it. He once viciously speared NY Rangers' Red Sullivan, almost killing him. He also had many bloody battles with the fiery Ted Lindsay, which is ironic since the two of them were so instrumental in the creation of the NHL Players Association.

"He could have played center, he could have played left wing, he could have played goal," former teammate Tom Johnson said. "There was no part of the game he couldn't do."

Unfortunately he would spend much of his last few years battling alcohol and mental illness. For a while, one of hockey's greatest heroes, spent his life living in a railway car (it's not quite as bad as it sounds, it was actually a mobile living unit once used by prime minister John Diefenbaker) at an Ottawa-area race track drinking his life away.

On December 26, 1989, at the age of 65 he died of cirrhosis of the liver in Montreal General Hospital. He had stopped drinking three years before he passed away, but at that point it was too late.

During the last weeks of his life he didn't regret a thing.

"If I had to do it over again," he said. "I wouldn't have changed a thing."

It's a shame that one of the three best defensemen of all-time spent his last years long forgotten by the media and fans.

Who knows - maybe he would have been alive today if he had some help. But, as Jean Beliveau points out, there is little that can be done since Harvey didn't admit to needing help. But we thank Doug for the fantastic display of hockey that he gave every hockey fan around the world.



Newsy Lalonde

In the long and storied history of the Montreal Canadiens there has always been one dominant player who led the team for an era. Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur and Patrick Roy have passed the torch from one successful era to another.

Although many will recognize Morenz as the first great Hab, the very first Montreal Canadiens legend was arguably Edouard "Newsy" Lalonde.

The NHL has dominated history so much since it formed in 1917 so that many fans today are often surprised to learn that the Montreal Canadiens actually pre-date the NHL itself. Many of Lalonde's greatest years came prior to the NHL's christening.
With much of his pre-NHL statistics and career ignored, the Canadian sporting landscape has long forgotten one of Canada's greatest athletes.

Lalonde, who earned his nickname because he worked in a newsprint plant in his youth, was a true superstar in both hockey and lacrosse. In fact, he was probably better at lacrosse. He was so good that in 1950 he was named Canada's outstanding lacrosse player of the half century. His hockey contributions were highly recognized as well. In that same year he was elected to Hockey's Hall of Fame.

Lalonde was born in Cornwall, Ont. October 31, 1887. His professional career, or should we say journey, began with the Cornwall Rovers in 1905 at the age of only 16. In 1906 he became a member of the senior Woodstock club and in 1908 moved to the Toronto Arenas of the Ontario Professional Hockey League. That year he won the scoring championship with an amazing 29 goals in just 9 games and played against the Montreal Wanderers for the Stanley Cup. Toronto narrowly lost 6-4 in the championship game.

After two seasons with Toronto, Lalonde joined a brand new team - the Montreal Canadiens of the new league the National Hockey Association, forerunner to the NHL. In fact Lalonde played the Habs' first game ever on Wednesday January 5th, 1910. The game was at the Jubilee Rink, a 3,500 seat natural ice arena that was located in Montreal's East End at the corner of Ste-Catherine and Moreau Street. Lalonde scored two goals in that historic game before being hit in the ankle with a puck and leaving the game. Montreal won the game 7-6 in overtime over the Cobalt Silver Kings.

In the first six games with the Habs, Lalonde scored an amazing 16 goals. However the Canadiens owner J. Ambrose O'Brien, who owned four of the five teams in the National Hockey Association at that time, decided to lend Newsy Lalonde to his Renfrew team for the balance of the season. The 5'9", 170lb Lalonde continued his scoring exploits with the Creamery Kings, scoring an even more impressive 22 goals in 5 games. On March 11, 1910, he scored nine goals in one game, an NHA record that was never beaten and only equaled by Tommy Smith. Not surprisingly, Lalonde's combined 11 game total of 38 goals captured him the very first NHA scoring title.

The following season Lalonde returned to the Canadiens but his goal production dropped to 19 in 16 games. Unhappy with the contract offers from the Canadiens, Lalonde opted to sign with Frank Patrick's Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. He flourished in Vancouver scoring 27 goals in 15 games and winning the PCHA league scoring championship.

Wanting to regain the scoring sensation, Montreal purchased Lalonde's rights back from the PCHA for $750, not an insignificant amount in 1912. Lalonde returned and scored 25 goals in 18 games, finishing fifth in scoring behind Joe Malone of Quebec who scored 43 goals in 20 games.

Lalonde, now the team captain, was an instrumental figure in Les Canadiens first Stanley Cup championship. Scoring a league high 28 goals in 24 games, Lalonde, battling a severe case of the flu during the championship series, scored three critical goals in the playoffs as the Canadiens beat out the Portland Rosebuds 3 games to 2 to win their first of 24 Stanley Cups.

The following season was Lalonde got 28 goals in just 18 games as he led Montreal back to the Stanley Cup finals, this time facing the Seattle Metropolitans. It was a tough series for Lalonde, who was noted for his physical play as much as his goal scoring ability. In the second game against Seattle he drew five penalties including a game misconduct and a $25 fine for butt-ending referee Jock Irvine during a brawl. Even worse, Seattle won the series 3 games to 1 to become the first American team to win the Cup. This also proved to be the last hurrah for the National Hockey Association.

Effectively a replacement for the NHA, The National Hockey League was born on November 26th 1917 with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Arenas as charter members. Newsy Lalonde participated in the first NHL game ever December 19th, 1917 when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators 7-4. Playing on a line with Joe Malone and Didier Pitre, Lalonde scored 23 goals in just 14 of 20 games that season, good enough for 5th overall in the scoring race.

in 1918-19, thanks in large part to the absence of Joe Malone, Lalonde captured his first NHL scoring championship with 22 goals and 32 points in just 17 games. He added 11 goals in 5 playoff games to return the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup finals, once again facing off with the Seattle Metropolitans. After five games in the series both teams had two wins and one game ended in a tie. The series was never completed. Bad Joe Hall, Billy Coutu, Jack McDonald and Newsy Lalonde were all hospitalized with influenza. Hall died in the Seattle Receiving Hospital April 5, 1919. The Stanley Cup final series was canceled.

Lalonde would continue to lead the Habs, scoring a 37 goals in 23 games in 1919-20, just 2 goals off of the scoring championship earned by Quebec's Malone, and another 33 goals and 43 points in 1920-21, to capture his second NHL scoring championship. But Montreal mightily struggled and missed the playoffs.

Early in the 1922 season the Canadiens were sold to Joseph Cattarinich, Louis A. Letourneau and Leo Dandurand. Newsy Lalonde walked out in a dispute with Leo Dandurand and held out for four games. He then played 20 games playing well below his normal level and only scored 9 goals. His performance prompted Leo Dandurand to trade him to the Saskatoon Sheiks of the PCHL for Aurel Joliat who was to become another Canadiens superstar on a line with Howie Morenz.

Newsy was now coming to the end of his career. In 1923 he regained his form when he got 29 goals in 26 games then he tailed off to 10 and 4 the next two years. In 1926 he moved to the New York Americans but only played one game for them before retiring.

By 1932 he had settled his differences with Leo Dandurand and was named coach of the Canadiens. His first year as coach the Canadiens barely made the playoffs and lost in the semi-finals to the Rangers. The next season the Canadiens lost again in the first round of the playoffs, this time to the Blackhawks. In 1935, as happens to all losing coaches, Newsy was let go.

During his career with the Canadiens he was the leading scorer on six occasions. He captained the team from 1915-1921 and was a member of the first Montreal Canadiens team to win the Stanley Cup in 1916. He was scoring champion five times in the National Hockey Association, Pacific Coast Hockey Association and National Hockey League, an unprecedented feat in the major professional ranks and unsurpassed until Gordie Howe's sixth scoring title in 1963.

He also held the record for the most goals scored by a professional hockey player from 1910 until 1954. It was his record of 453 goals that Maurice Richard passed. His total of 441, 124 of which came in 99 NHL games, was much more than the 324 of Nels Stewart officially recognized as the modern record of the National Hockey League.

Edouard Charles Lalonde died at the age of 83 on November 21, 1970.


Phantom Joe Malone

A prolific scorer before the NHL was formed in 1917, Joe Malone is perhaps the game's least heralded superstars. His modesty contributes to that, according to old time journalists. There is, however, no disputing his extraordinary scoring ability. Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe, the Hulls, and Bossy are among the games most prolific, but none can claim to have averaged two goals a game. Only "The Phantom" can claim that.

Malone turned professional at the age of nineteen with the Quebec Bulldogs of the Eastern Canada Hockey Association in the 1909 season, scoring eight goals in twelve games. The next season the NHA, forerunner to the NHL, was formed, but Quebec was left out of the loop, so he played for Waterloo in the Ontario Professional Hockey League. Rejoining Quebec, who now joined the NHA, in 1911, he was named the team captain and so served for the Bulldogs' seven NHA seasons. Centering linemates such as Eddie Oatman and Tommy Marks, he led the Bulldogs to Stanley Cups in 1912 and 1913 -- rampaging for a career best nine goals in a Cup match against Sydney -- while recording remarkable scoring marks of 43 goals in twenty games in 1913 and 41 goals in 19 games in 1917.

When the National Hockey League was officially formed for the 1917-18 season, the league needed a scoring superstar to grab the headlines. Enter Joe Malone, who joined the Montreal Canadiens.

Malone stepped up and set goal scoring standards in the NHL's opening night as the Habs battled the Senators in Ottawa. Malone scored 5 goals that night, which to this day remains a Montreal record for most goals in a road game.

But Malone was not a one night sensation. Malone would register two more 5-goal games that season. No player in NHL history has scored 5 goals in a game more than once in a single season.

Playing much of the season on a line with the great Newsy Lalonde and the speedy Didier Pitre, Malone's magical season ended with an amazing 44 goals in the short 20 game season. That's an average of 2.20 goals a game, by far the best mark in NHL history. The modern record for goals per game ratio is Wayne Gretzky's 1.18 when he scored 87 in 74 games in 1983-84.

Malone's 44 goals bettered Ottawa's Cy Denneny's 36 to capture the inaugural NHL scoring championship. There was no Hart Trophy as league MVP until 1924, but it is safe to say Malone would have been the likely recipient.

Hockey was significantly different back then. An article by Vern Degeer in the March 18, 1961 issue of The Hockey News suggests just how different it was back then.

"There's no denying the defensive tactic of the gladiators of the Malone era were far removed from the smooth precision of the ultra moderns," wrote DeGeer. "Rinks had poorer lighting. The pace was slower and squads smaller. And about the only time a regular campaigner like Joe hit the sidelines was to get a fresh cudgel."

"We had a lot of ice time," Malone told DeGeer, "but I'll tell you we didn't go up and down the rink like they do today. We'd hustle when opportunities presented and then we'd loaf. At least I did. It was the only way you could go the 60 minutes and a lot of players had to do that."

What about the goaltending?

"Well it's tough comparing hockey of those days from any position. Today's game is speed and that exciting slap shot. The goalies have a tougher time. But we thought we had some pretty fair goaltenders in our time. You can't say fellows like Clint Benedict, Georges Vezina, Hughie Lehman, John Ross Roach, Hap Holmes, Paddy Moran were human sieves."

Malone, remembered as a tricky stickhandler, described his own style of play.

"I didn't have the hardest shot in the world," he said "but I knew where it was going most of the time. You can't say as much for the slap shot. With the old wrist shot you looked where you were shooting, trying to pick your spots. With the slap the player has to keep his eye on the puck, like in golf, or you're liable to fan the shot entirely. I've seen that done. It's an exciting play, but I wouldn't want to be the goaltender. You never know where the puck's going. Seems to me that's why so many goalies get hurt."

Another major area of difference was the money paid out to the game's greatest players. To prove major league hockey was very much still in its' infancy, Malone, a 4 time scoring champion and 2 time Stanley Cup champion and the NHL's first superstar, only participated in just 8 games in 1918-19, in which he scored 7 goals.

"I had hooked on to a good job in Quebec City which promised a secure future, something hockey in those days couldn't."

Hockey was not a good way to earn a living.

"I guess you could say that I was firing blanks. I didn't get any trophy or any bonus. In fact I was in pro hockey two or three years before I picked up $1,000 for a whole season. And I started with Waterloo in the old Trolley League for $50 a week, and a mighty short season in those days."

But the magical "Phantom" reappeared in 1919-20, rejoining his Quebec Bulldogs, the newest addition to the NHL. He never missed a beat. Though Quebec won only 4 of 24 games, Malone scored 39 goals and 10 official assists to narrowly edge out his old center Newsy Lalonde and capture his second NHL scoring championship.

No night was more spectacular than January 31st, 1920. In a 10-6 Quebec victory over the Toronto St. Pats, He scored an unbelievable 7 goals in a single game, and had an 8th goal disallowed. Malone broke Lalonde's record, set just 3 weeks earlier, of 6 goals.

The Phantom struck again a little over a month later on March 10th, scoring 6 goals in a 10-4 win over Ottawa.

Only two NHL players in the post-World War II modern era have scored 6 goals in a single game - St. Louis' Red Berenson in 1968 (on the road, no less) and Toronto's Darryl Sittler in 1976. It is safe to say Joe Malone's NHL record that so far has, and almost always likely will stand.

In 1920-21 the struggling Quebec franchise transferred to Hamilton, Ontario and became known as the Tigers. Malone would make the trip too, scoring 55 goals in 44 games over the next two seasons, but the franchise struggled mightily in the standings.

Les Canadiens reacquired Malone in 1922, but at the age of 33 his skills were now vanishing and was struggling with an illness. He struggled to score a lone goal in 29 games over the next two years.

Malone knew it was time to retire when he literally saw the future of hockey in Montreal.

"I took a look at a new kid in our training camp at Grimsby, Ontario and knew right then I was ready for the easy chair. He was Howie Morenz. In practice he moved past me so fast I thought I was standing still. I knew it was time to quit. Besides I was bothered by a throat ailment. I didn't want to grow old on the Canadiens' bench. I had a good job as a tool maker. So I said goodbye. I didn't stay long enough in 1923-24 to get a goal. Morenz had taken over."

In his eight greatest seasons (including pre-NHL days) he collected 280 goals in 172 games. You can't laugh that off in any language. In his top six seasons he had 230 goals in 128 games. His exploits were legendary and often led to comparisons for other young scoring stars in the province of Quebec, at least until Rocket Richard arrived.

Nowadays the unassuming Malone is all but forgotten, a victim of time. But until his record of 7 goals in a single NHL game is broken, he will always be a legend in history.



Ken Dryden

There is an old hockey adage that goes something like this: "A team is only as good as its goalie."

Ken Dryden ranks among the greatest goaltenders not only in Montreal Canadiens history, but in hockey history. Dryden follows in the Habs footsteps of Georges Vezina, George Hainsworth, Bill Durnan, Jacques Plante, Gump Worsley and followed by Patrick Roy as great goalies to wear the "CH"

But try to imagine this - Ken Dryden wearing a Boston Bruins uniform.

Unthinkable right? Well what many people don't know is that Boston actually drafted the 6'4" 225lb "octopus" of a goalie in 1964, 14th overall. Days later he was traded to Montreal with Alex Campbell for Guy Allen and Paul Reid. The trade wasn't even an after thought at the time. The other three never appeared in the NHL, and no one really expected Dryden to, either.

Ken Dryden was far from the stereotypical NHL goalie. The average goalie is always edgy and a little nervous, and you really can not blame them for that. But Dryden was as cool and confident as could be. He never played junior hockey. Instead he went to Cornell University in 1965. It was very uncommon for a US college player to make it to the NHL at that time.

Ken loved hockey as a kid, but since he was one of the youngest kids in his neighborhood, the only way he could play in the pick-up games was to be a goaltender. That was fine by Ken, as he wanted to emulate his big brother Dave. Dave, 6 years older, often played goal too, and like Ken would enjoy a lengthy professional career as a puck stopper.

Ken Dryden made a spectacular and unsuspecting NHL debut. He spent the entire 1970-71 season in the American Hockey League, but received a late season call up in what was expected to be a chance to give a young goalie some apprenticeship behind established starter Rogie Vachon. It was standard with the Habs back then to serve a lengthy apprenticeship. It was part of their tradition. It was a big part of their success.

Dryden watched the first game from the press box, and then played in 6 games, only allowing 9 goals. People still expected Vachon to start the playoffs, but to everyone's surprise, the Canadiens started the rookie at such a critical point. The first round series against Boston is now considered a classic. Dryden made spectacular save after spectacular save against the likes of Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and Johnny Bucyk. The Habs upset the defending champs 4 games to 3. Propelled by this feat, they went on to win the Stanley Cup themselves. It is hard to believe that any of this could have happened with Dryden, a veteran of only 6 games. He had a GAA of 3.00 in 20 games, and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

The rest, as they say, is history. The following year he was named top rookie after posting a 2.24 GAA in 64 games. Dryden is the only player in NHL history to be named MVP of the playoffs before proving to be the best rookie. Dryden was named five times to NHL All-Star teams, and won or shared the Vezina Trophy five times. He played every game in helping Montreal win six Stanley Cups, four of them in succession. He finished his career prematurely with an all time record of 258 wins, 57 losses and 74 ties in 397 games. He won 86% of the games he participated in, easily the best mark in hockey history. Four times he led the league in wins, including a career high 41 in 1976-77. He had a career goals against average of just 2.24 per game, and led the league in GAA in 4 seasons. He had 46 career shutouts, leading the league 4 times in that category. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.

Following his spectacular debut, Ken was asked to play in the 1972 Summit Series against the powerful Russians. It was one of his most memorable moments and a true career highlight, even though at times it proved to be a huge nightmare as well. Attimes Ken was at times outplayed by backup Tony Esposito and Soviet counterpart Vladislav Tretiak, and seemed to have trouble with the quick passing, criss-crossing Russian offense. Canada almost fell flat on their faces, but Dryden was the victorious goalie in the deciding 8th game.

Dryden was far from your one-dimensional jock-type. He had always expressed a desire to practice law and was willing to sacrifice hockey to do it. In 1973, with the sky as the limit for the young goalie, the toast of the hockey world announced his retirement at the age of 26 to work with a Toronto law firm. Dryden had been unhappy with contract talks with Montreal and shocked the hockey world with his announcement.

That season the Canadiens struggled with three different goalies, and quickly gave in to Dryden's contract demands, and he would return the following season. Dryden played 5 more years, leading the Canadiens to 4 straight Stanley Cups.

Of all the Stanley Cup victories, Ken chooses the 1976 victory as the sweetest moment in his hockey career.

"It was a Stanley Cup of triumph, of revenge, of setting things right, of responsibility self imposed." he wrote in Dick Irvin's great book In The Crease. The Habs defeated the two time defending champion Philadelphia Flyers to regain the Cup. The Flyers of course were known as the Broad Street Bullies and supposedly represented all that was bad in hockey - the violence and trapping defensive schemes. Many feared that the Bullies success was giving hockey a bad perception, and many cheered for Montreal in this battle of good guys vs. bad guys. The Habs - supposedly representing all that is good in the game - were victorious in a convincing 4 game sweep. With their artistry on ice, and Dryden in net, it was the first of 4 consecutive Cups for the "good guys."

Still considered at the top of his game, Dryden again retired, this time for good, after the 1979 season. Ken couldn't have picked a better time as it marked the end of the Habs dynasty. The Habs wouldn't win another Cup until 1986 when a young Patrick Roy put on a Ken-Dryden-like show.

More than any of his dazzling moves, big saves or stolen games, it was his "thinker's pose" that most people vividly remember about Ken Dryden. When the puck was cleared from his zone or when the play was whistled dead, Dryden would coolly dig the tip of his blade into the ice and fold his arms across the top. He simply relaxed until the puck came back down to his end.

When he retired it was expected that Ken would put his passion for law to good use. However Ken initially packed up his family and moved to England and wrote perhaps the greatest book in hockey history - The Game. The best selling author also penned Face-Off At The Summit, Home Game, which was also turned into a television mini-series, and the non-hockey book In School: Our Kids, Our Teachers and Our Classrooms over his writing career.

He returned to Canada in 1982 and served as the Ontario Youth Commissioner, his first hint of interest in the world of politics.

But political ambitions would have to wait. In 1997 Ken returned to the National Hockey League to be named as president of the Toronto Maple Leafs - the arch rivals of the Montreal Canadiens. He oversaw the return to glory of the Leafs, although Stanley Cup success remained elusive in Canada's largest city.

Following the turn of the millennium Dryden was twice elected as a member of parliament. During his first term he served as a caucus member of the minority Liberal government where a national day care program was his main focus. In 2005 he was re-elected even though the Liberals lost power. In 2006 Dryden announced he would run for the leadership of the Liberal party. Perhaps this goalie-turned lawyer-turned best selling author-turned executive-turned politician will one day be Prime Minister of Canada.


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