1971 playoff hero Ken Dryden will be at Indigo Thursday

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
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It’s funny. I’ve been on this 2012-could-be-the-new-1971 for the past couple of days and then I see that none other than Ken Dryden will be turning up at the flagship downtown Indigo store on Thursday night for a conversation with my pal Sue Smith of Homerun fame about The Game. Someone – that might be you Sue! – has to ask Dryden if he thinks this year’s Hab-nots might be the reincarnation of the 1971 Canadiens.

You may think that Mr. Dryden is simply an unemployed politician – he lost his seat in the House of Commons last year during that election when the Liberals nearly disappeared off the electoral map – and a bestselling author. But no he actually also spent some time in his youth as a netminder for the Montreal Canadiens and he really wasn’t all that bad between the pipes.

He of course was the hero of the 1971 playoffs – as Red Fisher may have mentioned on occasion -leading an underachieving Montreal Canadiens to the Cup, beating the heavily favoured Boston Bruins in the first round. I was just watching the NHL Top Ten Rivalries on DVD this morning – hey you have to kick-start your Monday morning somehow – and someone, I forget who, was saying you just had to see Phil Esposito shaking his head in disbelief after the latest nutsoid Dryden save.

The Game is indeed one of the best books ever written about hockey. Dryden – who is as smart, articulate and erudite as anyone who’s ever played in the National Hockey League – muses about our game, focusing on the not-so-shabby Habs teams that he played for in the 1970s.

The Game, by the way, is one of the five books in contention in this year’s edition of the CBC books punch-up Canada Reads, which airs Feb. 6-9 on CBC Radio One. The Game will be defended by actor Alan Thicke. (By the way, the competition also includes Dave Bidini’s On a Cold Road, a fine, funny, must-read book about Canadian rock that I’m in the midst of reading.)

The event Thursday at Indigo will also include Lisa-Marie Breton, captain of the Montreal Stars, and Dr. Gordon Bloom, professor of sports psychology at McGill.  They will talk about The Game, the game, and the state of sports injuries.

Segments from the soiree will air later on Homerun.

Remember Sue – ask Dryden if 2012 is 1971 all over again! Though I fear he – rather sensibly – probably hasn’t wasted much of his precious time watching this year’s Habs.

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