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Former Montreal Canadiens great Ken Dryden (Dave Chan/Dave Chan for The Globe and Mail)

Former Montreal Canadiens great Ken Dryden

(Dave Chan/Dave Chan for The Globe and Mail)

Ken Dryden’s essay from Hall of Fame induction night Add to ...

A copy of the essay former Montreal Canadiens great Ken Dryden penned for TSN’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction show, which coincided with Remembrance Day this year:

Soldiers and Players

They have always had a lot in common, hockey players and soldiers

Young men, their look of health and hope

Now young women too

Living full out – nothing held back

Doing what many fantasize about

Doing what most can’t even imagine


They see themselves in each other

Before soldiers took up arms many took up sticks

Later, they discovered danger and courage of a different sort

The sacrifice of one brought opportunity to the other

Memorial arenas rose across the country to commemorate the fallen

Allowing a truly national game

Finally, no place, no day too cold, too mild to play

The torch passing

Both inspiring and inspired


They are believers – their team, their country

Their task too big to be done alone

They put themselves in others’ hands, these teammates; their buddies

Their fate in yours. Your fate in theirs

Never so weak, never so strong


They will remember this time the rest of their lives

War stories all

They signed up for only a few years

Their feelings, their wounds never leave them

Never so scarred, never so alive

Above all, theirs, a bond


Players, heroes to many, strong, tough, “warriors” to some

Who deepest down don’t know if they could ever be strong and tough enough


Soldiers, heroes to them.

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