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Ken Dryden Montreal Canadiens Autographed Wire Photo
Lot #475

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Ken Dryden Montreal Canadiens Autographed Wire Photo
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Ken Dryden Montreal Canadiens Autographed Wire Photo
Lot #475
Ken would get his first chance in the pro ranks late in the 1970-71 season when the Canadiens gave him a call up. He would play in 6 games, winning all 6 in impressive fashion. So impressed was coach MacNeil that he handed the starting role to Ken for the playoffs, and Dryden never looked back. He singlehandedly kept the Habs alive with great goaltending against the Big Bad Bruins in a fierce opening round 7 game series. Next the Habs went onto defeat the North Stars in the Semi’s and do the same to the Black Hawks in the Finals in another amazing 7 game series. So incredible was Ken’s performance that he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, as a rookie. Dryden was handed the starting reigns for the 1971-72 regular season and he performed brilliantly, starting 64 games and winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. That off-season Dryden backstopped Team Canada to victory against the Soviets in the 1972 Summitt Series.

The 1972-73 regular season saw Ken win 33 games against only 7 losses and 13 ties while posting 6 shutouts and a miniscule 2.26 GAA. This earned him a 1st Team NHL All Star selection with many more to come. He also won the first of his 5 Vezina trophies that season. He kept the team on his back for the hard fought 1973 playoff run, which included a grueling Semi-Final series against the Broad Street Bullies followed by a tough 6 game Stanley Cup Finals series against Tony Esposito and his Chicago Black Hawks. When all was said and done, the Canadiens and Dryden were once again Stanley Cup Champs.

Following the amazing Stanley Cup run, now with 2 Cup titles in tow, a Conn Smythe Trophy and the Calder Trophy already on the mantel, Dryden announced his retirement, at the age of 26, after not being able to come to terms with the Canadiens over salary. He took a low paying job in a Toronto based law firm and stayed there a year until the Canadien’s management came to their senses and negotiated him out of retirement. Kenny would return for the 1974-75 season and, despite the rust, he would win another 30 games. It was in 1975-76 that the Canadiens machine was back in full gear, as they would go onto dynasty status, winning the Stanley Cup 4 consecutive times. Following this remarkable feat, Dryden would again retire, going out on top as a Stanley Cup champion. With Kenny’s retirement, so fell the Canadiens dynasty.

All told, Dryden won 6 Stanley Cups in his 8 years of service for Montreal. Also on the mantel are 5 Vezina Trophies as leagues best goaltender, (5) 1st Team and (1) 2nd Team NHL All Star selection, the aforementioned Calder and Conn Smythe Trophies and 5 NHL All Star game appearances. When discussing the great goalies in the history of the game, no conversation can be had without mention of this Hall of Fame legend.

This wire photo, dated January 24, 1972, shows Ken making a glove save in his Red Canadiens jersey. The headline reads “HOCKEY BALLET-Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens’ goalie, stops a shot during a game here Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. A power play goal by Jacques Lemaire pulled Montreal to a 3-3 tie.”  The photo is in nice condition and the signature is beautiful.