Barrie hockey fans lined up in droves to meet hockey legend and author Ken Dryden on Saturday at Indigo.
The former Canadiens goaltender was on-hand to sign copies of his new book Scotty: A Hockey Life Like No Other, which tells the story of long-time NHL coach Scotty Bowman.
Dryden played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1970 to 1979. After his hockey career ended he picked up writing, and also served as an MP in York Centre for the Liberal Party of Canada from 2004 to 2011. He has written seven books.
When asked about the transition from hockey player to politician to author, Dryden said all three vocations were always in the back of his mind.
“In a way, they were all there,” said Dryden. “I played hockey all of my life. From the time I was about 12 or 13 years old, I always imagined that anybody’s ultimate career, if you had a chance, was in government or politics. To me, ultimate meant at about age 50,” he said, with a laugh.
“All the time I was playing and afterward, that was in the back of my mind,” he added.
Dryden said he started writing in university, but he didn’t really take to it until much later in life.
“In terms of writing, I started in university. I enjoyed it, even though I was doing it because I had to. The first book I did, The Game, was just after I had retired from hockey, and I found out I enjoyed it more than I thought,” said Dryden.
When choosing a topic for his latest book, Dryden said the topic of his former coach called out to him.
“He’s the best ever, and there hasn’t been something (written) on him. He’s not only the best ever, but he’s also lived a life that’s completely unlike anyone else,” said Dryden. “It’s not only that he has achieved all he has achieved, but that he has seen it all. All the best teams, all the best players... he never stops watching. It’s to try to capture a record of him while he’s still here to capture.”
Dryden said the book is peppered with some personal stories of his relationship with Bowman, but that he tried to keep them to a minimum while writing it.
“I didn’t go overboard, because this is Scotty’s book. It isn’t just about the time we shared together in Montreal. This is his story,” he said.
While Scotty marks Dryden’s seventh book, he said he’s open to other possibilities in the future.
“I probably will write more. I never plan that there’s going to be a next one, it’s just if there’s something I really want to write about and I think I can explore it best through writing, then I will,” said Drysden.
Scotty: A Hockey Life Like No Other is available at most major bookstores, Indigo and Amazon.