Former goalkeeper Dave Dryden dies aged 81

Dave Dryden, a former NHL goaltender and brother of Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Dryden, died Tuesday at the age of 81.

Dryden died of complications from lung surgery, according to Kopriva Taylor Funeral Home in Oakville, Ont.

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of former goaltender, equipment innovator, teacher and philanthropist Dave Dryden,” the NHL said in a statement. “Dryden was respected and loved by all who had the good fortune to know him, and his contributions to our sport transcended his 17 seasons as an NHL goaltender and [l’Association mondiale de hockey]. Notably, he had a memorable game when he and his brother Ken became the first brothers to face each other in goal in the NHL.

“In the mid-1970s, he reimagined the goalie mask, designing the fiberglass mask with the cage that greatly improved goalie protection. His idea transformed the way goalkeepers play, and his mask remains in use today. After his retirement, he worked within the League to improve equipment, always dedicated to better protecting athletes. He has long acted as headmaster of an elementary school and led the charity Sleeping Children Around the World, founded by his parents.

“We offer our deepest condolences to Dave’s wife, Sandra, their two children and six grandchildren, and to all those whose lives and careers have been made better through his work. In his name, the NHL will make a donation to Sleeping Children Around the World, which provides beds for children in developing countries. »

Born Sept. 5, 1941, in Hamilton, Ont., Dryden got his start in the NHL when emergency goalies were first called in. Playing for Toronto in the junior ranks in Ontario, the 20-year-old showed up at Maple Leaf Gardens on February 3, 1962, as he often did, to watch the Maple Leafs play.

There was nothing out of the ordinary in this duel against the New York Rangers, until New York goaltender Gump Worsley suffered an injury and was escorted to the locker room at 1:27 of the second. period.

We called in Dryden, who rushed into the Rangers locker room. He was given Worsley’s thick wool sweater, and he was propelled in front of the net. He allowed three goals in the second and third periods in Toronto’s 4-1 win.

Dryden played 120 games with the Buffalo Sabers between 1970 and 1974, facing his brother Ken in a historic game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum on March 20, 1971.

The Dryden brothers met again in Montreal on October 28, 1972, a 3-3 tie between the Sabers and the Canadiens.

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Dave Dryden joined the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1974, first lining up with the Chicago Cougars. At the Edmonton Oilers, he allowed Wayne Gretzky his first professional goal, when La Merveille was just a rookie with the Indianapolis Racers. He was then the teammate of Gretzky and Mark Messier in Edmonton.

In 1979 with Edmonton, Dryden won the Gordie Howe Trophy as the most valuable player to his team in the WHA and the Ben-Hatskin Trophy, as the best goaltender. That season, he went 41-17 with two ties, a 2.89 goals-against average and three shutouts.

He returned to the NHL for his final professional season with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979-80. He finished his league career with a 69-76 record with 27 ties, an .896 save percentage and nine shutouts.

Dryden retired to become a teacher in Mississauga, Ontario. He later worked in the administrative offices of the NHL, leading the group that assessed goalies’ injuries and equipment. He was also the first president of Sleeping Children Around the World, the organization founded by his father.

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Former goalkeeper Dave Dryden dies aged 81


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