KEN Dryden won six Stanley Cups in eight seasons – and went on to even greater success after retiring from the NHL.
The Montreal Canadiens goalie had a history degree from Cornell University when he arrived in the NHL in 1971.
After winning the Stanley Cup in his rookie season and again in 1973, Dryden took off the entire 1973-74 season amid a contract dispute with the Canadiens.
He used that time to gain a law degree, begin work for a law firm and intern for political activist Ralph Nader.
Dryden eventually came back to the Canadiens and helped the team win four consecutive Stanley Cups before retiring in 1979.
The hockey legend was at the peak of his powers but he simply wanted to do other things with his life.
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“I wanted to give myself the time and the chance to do something else that I hoped would be useful, interesting and that I could do well,” he told The Athletic.
“It just felt like it was time to go.”
The multi-talented hockey legend immediately moved into broadcasting and was Al Michaels’ color commentator on ABC for the iconic Miracle on Ice in 1980, when the United States Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviet Union in Lake Placid.
At the time, he was taking bar admission courses in Ottawa prior and during the Olympics.
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He then became an author, writing a memoir about his final season called The Game, which is considered one of the greatest sports books ever written.
In total, he has written eight books on topics ranging from the game of hockey to educational system reform and the political future of Canada.
In 1997, Dryden returned to hockey when he became president of the Toronto Maple Leafs before he decided his next career adventure would be a move into politics.
In 2004, he successfully captured the north-end Toronto riding of York Centre as a Liberal MP, a House of Commons seat he kept until 2011.
In that time, he was named to the Canadian Cabinet as Minister of Social Development and unsuccessfully ran to become Leader of the Liberal Party in 2006.
“I’ve been able to do the things that I thought were interesting to do — that I liked to do,” Dryden, 76, said.
“I wasn’t a hockey player. I was somebody who played hockey.”