The most famous player to come out of Humber Valley is Ken Dryden, the former goaltender for the Montreal Canadians. Ken’s father Murray and his brother Dave also were quite involved in the early years of our association.
At age 7, Ken was a member of the Islington Hornets, one of the league’s first two teams. Even then, Ken’s talents received rave reviews. From the Toronto Star in 1955:
“This game on Thursday night was a spine-tingler, with the Hornets gaining a 2-2 tie on the sensational acrobatic stopping of 7 year old Kenny Dryden, who made 37 saves while the University settlement goalie made 33.”
And remember, Ken was playing against boys up to 11 years of age!
Not only was Ken was an excellent goaltender, he was also an all-star in high school basketball at Etobicoke Collegiate, and in the Kingsway baseball league as a pitcher and hitter. Ken eventually went to Cornell University in New York and was soon a star on one of the top teams in US college hockey. The team won 67 games and lost only 3 over several seasons – to this day he is regarded as one of the best-ever college goaltenders. Ken was an All-American three times, and in 1969, was named ‘Outstanding Athlete’ at Cornell. In order to pursue a law career while playing the game he loved, Ken joined the Canadian National team in Winnipeg for the 1969-1970 season. He signed a pro contract with Montreal in 1970, and after 1 year with the Montreal Voyageurs in the American Hockey League, he became the Montreal Canadians #1 goalie in 1971. That year he won the Calder Trophy, as Rookie of the Year. In his second season, 1972-73, Ken was selected to join the 1st All-Star Team and also won the Vezina Trophy. Quite a start to his professional career! And how can anyone forget Ken’s performance in the final Canada/Russia game in 1972.
Ken’s father Murray, was active and hardworking in the Humber Valley community for many years. His involvement was wide reaching – a volunteer in hockey and baseball clubs, a director for the Kingsway Kiwanis Club, and as a Sunday school teacher, elder and Steward in the Humber Valley United Church. In the early years of our league, he helped coach and manage a number of younger teams.
Ken’s brother Dave was 6 year older than Ken and his hockey career was already blossoming before our league came to be. Even so, Dave spent a year coaching his brother’s team, the Hornets, with his dad. Dave later went on to play junior hockey at St. Michael’s College and then with the Toronto Marlboros. He graduated to the NHL where he played with Chicago and Buffalo and then Edmonton in the WHA.
Dave was Ken’s hero growing up. Being a goaltender, it was he who originally taught Ken how to mind the net. In 1971, they met each other for the first time in the NHL, as opposing goalies in a Montreal vs. Buffalo game.
And let’s not forget Ken’s sister, Judy, and mother, Margaret, who shared the rest of the family’s interest in sports. Education and participation in all aspects of life was a strong family belief, and their family continues to demonstrate these values to this very day. Humber Valley Hockey Association congratulates Ken and Dave on their success, and thanks the Dryden family for their contributions to minor hockey and the community over many years.
Ken Dryden, Humber Valley & The Stanley Cup
Ken was given a day with the Stanley Cup on Saturday October 15, 2011. He brought it to Central Arena to share with his Humber Valley family.
What would you do if you had that chance? Who would you decide had meant so much to you in winning the Cup that you had to share it with them? For Ken, in part, his answer was Humber Valley Hockey Association where his hockey career first started!