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Ken Dryden and Serge Savard Numbers Retired

  • #29 and #18 will soon join a prestigious group hanging from the rafters in the Bell Center.

    Their numerous accomplishments include 6 and 8 Stanley Cups respectively.
    A feat that seems impossible in today’s game.


  1. #1 smiler2729 says:
    September 13, 2006 at 8:53 am

    I realize Dryden and Savard were great Habs but so were Lapointe, Larouche and Naslund, so what are we going to do, retire every sweater and have a bunch of high numbers skating out there looking like some rookie laden tryout team? Gimme a break, it’s bad enough Ryder, Ribeiro and others are wearing ‘tryout camp’ numbers on a permanent basis, let’s put some traditional hockey numbers out there much like the Sens did about 5 years ago when they decreed no more ‘high’ numbers and everyone switched to numbers under 40 (Remember Bonk wearing 76?)… There’s got to be a better way to honour past greats than taking their number out of circulation (besides 29 was worn after Dryden by Wamsley, Gingras, Chabot, Flockhart and others, same for 18 with Schneider, D. Savard, V. Bure, Hossa). Not that I admire the Leafs for anything other than being crappy constantly but at least they do something right by ‘honouring’ numbers rather than retiring them.

  2. #2 Phrank O'Fone says:
    September 13, 2006 at 9:11 am

    You wanna see some schmuck wearing number 9? Larouche and Naslund are nowhere near these guys in stature. You been cheering for the Leafs way too long. Ottawa can hand out low numbers, they have only 1 number retired. How comfortable do you think Guillaume Latendresse would feel wearing #10? Please don’t take this the wrong way Smiler, but once you have a better sense of hockey history, you will understand why this simply cannot be done.

  3. Are there going to be any numbers left?

  4. I think most worth numbers are already retired. Why did the Canadiens decided to retire 2 number each year, this is simply completly stupid IMO. Some players deserve it while others don’t. The fact is, some numbers aren’t worth the same value if you trow a bunch of others around it.

    Is Savard and Dryden did the same M. Richard, H. Richard, Laplante and others did ? IMO not, they were great but there might other way to “thank” them.

    There is only another number worth to go up and it’s the number 33 but I would still wait some years before doing so. Why is it so important to do it fast ?

    The reality, is that in the future we won’t see this happens again. Players come and get out, they are all worth basicly the samething, no one as spectacular as before for many season or all their carreer. With the new NHL may be we will see 1 concession guy but he will need to make BIG things, change the league, win many stanley cup etc… and I don’t believe we will see this again.

  5. #5 smiler2729 says:
    September 13, 2006 at 12:22 pm

    Phrank, you missed the point and SURE AS HELL DON’T CHEER FOR THE LEAFS… The point is there are retiring way too many numbers of guys that weren’t anywhere near impact players such as Harvey, Beliveau, Morenz, Rocket, Lafleur and Pocket. Granted Jacques Plante was great in the ’50s, an innovator, etc… but why was his number 1 retired only in the last 10 years when he died in ’85 and spent his last 12-13 years in the NHL playing for NYR, StL, TOR and BOS. Ya think 33 should be retired for a guy who walked out on us in ’95 in a baby hissy fit and became as much a Colorado Avalanche icon as a Hab? NO! 29 for Dryden? Anybody could played goal for the ’70s Habs! Savard? Good player but not mindblowing great. GET THE POINT? DO YOU??????

  6. Fine, they can retire a couple of numbers and make a few old men happy. They should, however, reach a certain limit, say 10, 12, or 16 max (how many are already retired?), and say that that’s it for honoring old farts. ‘The old block of 16’ or something. After that the next retired number should play like Ovechkin for 15 years. Otherwise it won’t even be that special or anything and we won’t have too many numbers left.

  7. #7 Jack Tornton says:
    September 13, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    In 5 years we’ll probably see Carey Price with a 101 on the back of his Jersey!

  8. I have had the good fortune to have lunch and chat with Ken Dryden and he is by all counts a worthy selection for jersey retirement. I was in the old forum when he stoned Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins in their prime and he became a legend on that series alone. His performance over 397 games (258-57-74) gives him a lifetime average of 2.24 which is more than respectable. The league championships, the Vezina, the Stanley Cups were all a part of 70’s firewagon hockey and he made all the difference as Sam Pollock found out when Ken retired for one season in his early career. He is a humble thoughtful individual who writes and tells great stories and has a pretty good shot at being Canadien Prime Minister one day.

    Michael Morgan

  9. anyone who thinks Ken Dryden wasn’t a great goaltender or worthy of having his number retired, knows nothing about hockey, and even less about the Montreal Canadiens!If it wasn’t for Dryden in nets, there is no way the habs would have won all those cups in the 70’s. watch old clips and relive that era, or don’t open your uneducated idiotic opinion! How disrespectful and moronic can you be! Dryden should go down as one of the greatest goaltenders to play the game! It’s unfortunate he didn’t play more years, because if you compare his stats to Brodeur, Dryden is superior! Anyone who is old enough to have watched Dryden play all throughout the 70’s, realized what an acrobatic and true magician he was. First, the guy was huge. He could cover the whole net, and it was nearly impossible to get a puck high on him. No matter how good a team is offensively, if your goaltender can’t stop a puck, you aren’t going to win the cup!( example the Ottawa senators-great offensively, but no goaltending!)
    And the habs did it 4 years in a row! Before someone makes an educated comment, do a little research, and eat some humble pie!

  10. OK, I am leaving the sin bin early to weigh in on this one.

    Thanks to Habs heart 1 and Michael Morgan for having the guts to speak out on this issue. Anyone who even mentions Ken Dryden’s name in comparison to Pierre Larouche or Matts Naslund is frankly insane.

    Brief history lesson here, kids… Ken Dryden came to the Montreal Canadiens in 1971 from Cornell University where he had won 3 consecutive ECACHL titles, and is widely considered the greatest College hockey goaltender of all time. In fact, the award presented to the ECACHL’s best goaltender each year is called the Ken Dryden award. In 1971, after only 6 regular season games in the NHL, he won the Stanley Cup against the heavily favored Boston Bruins. Boston players had never seen the likes of Dryden, and were not ashamed to admit their awe of him. He won the Conn Smythe in 1971. He won the Calder trophy in 1972, and was the goaltender in the net for Canada during the Summit Series victory over the Soviet Union’s Tretiak establishing himself as the best goaltender on the planet of his era. In seven full seasons, he won the Stanley Cup 6 times, the Vezina trophy 5 times, and was voted to the all star team 6 times. When Dryden took a year off in 1973-74, the Canadiens did not win. When Dryden retired from the Canadiens in 1979, the Canadiens’ dynasty also ended. Coincidence? He retired after only seven full seasons with a phenomenal 0.650 winning percenatge and 46 shutouts. If you had lived in Montreal at that time, you would have felt the tension within the city when Bunny Larocque instead of Dryden was playing in nets.

    So, why #29 first instead of #33. First off, Dryden won six Stanley Cups for the Canadiens (not two); Dryden never quit his team after getting shelled 12-1; Dryden never shyed away from international competition for his country; Dryden did not get charged with beating his wife; Dryden did not whine and complain or insist on trades, coaches be fired or teammates being shipped away. Not enough water has yet passed under the bridge to forget this stuff about #33. Dryden was both amazing and HUMBLE about whatever he accomplished. If Dryden had chose to play longer than he did, his records would have been completely insurmountable as goaltenders tend to get better with age to roughly the age of 38-40 years old.

    Dryden is an author and an intelligent, educated man who knew there was more to being a team player than simply posting good numbers. When I was a kid, both my brother and I wrote to this man, and received personal letters from Ken Dryden in response.

    With these new jersey retirements, it will bring the total to 10 the number of jerseys retired by the Canadiens, there are still 89 other numbers out there. Perhaps after these are gone, we can switch to letters on the backs. I’ll reserve my jersey with the letters “FU” on the back so I can communicate directly with those “Canadiens fans” who try to diminish the accomplishments of English players (Dryden, Gainey and Robinson) during the 1970s.

  11. #11 Rubberman says:
    September 13, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    What to go Rob!!! I miss those years (Lafleur, Dryden, Robinson, Shutt, and etc…). I guess most of us do. It’s nice to see the Habs recognizing these players. Oui, je suis français canadien and I agree with Rob.

  12. Merci, Rubberman. I agree with you also. I would like to see the Canadiens honour all their greats according to what attributes that they brought to the Canadiens, and not according to what language that they first learned to speak.

    I am not saying that #33 wasn’t an outstanding goaltender, he was, no question, but fairness dictates that Dryden’s jersey be retired first. Lafleur got his honour. Savard will get his due. Dryden, Robinson and Gainey (as the best defensive forward ever to play) also deserve their jersey retirement for what they brought to the team.

  13. Besides, don’t worry about losing all the low numbers, guys. In the bigger picture, the next jersey after #33 to be retired will likely be Sidney Crosby’s #87.

  14. #14 jack tornton says:
    September 13, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    Pour la premier fois je vois un francophone dans ce site ci. On se sent bien quand on est entoure de Quebecois!

  15. #15 Phrank O'Fone says:
    September 13, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    Why this is even debatetable is beyond me. To use Rob’s word, “attributes” are all that matter when honouring a player. Why stick to a mere 30 numbers when 99 numbers are available? Players enjoy having the individuality of their own number and not being burdened by having to wear Beliveau’s #4, as was offered once to Lafleur.

    In almost a hundred years, we are talking about 11 numbers gone missing. I doubt the Habs win 24 Cups this milleniun, but if we continued at the same rate the remaining 88 numbers should last us a good 800 years. Dig me up then and see if I give a damn!

  16. POF (not PFO)


    As the NHL has added many more teams to the mix, the talent pool has been watered down considerably too. Instead of teams like the Habs of the 1970s who had arguably at least a half dozen “franchise” players (whose numbers all deserve reirement), nowadays, most teams only have one franchise player so the rate of number retirement will greatly diminish for the Habs in the future after they honour the players of the dynasty of the 1970s.

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake in counts, Phrank. You are right; it is going to be eleven jerseys. These are:

    #1 Jacques Plante
    #2 Doug Harvey
    #4 Jean Beliveau
    #5 Bernie Geoffrion
    #7 Howie Morenz
    #9 Maurice Richard
    #10 Guy Lafleur
    #12 Dickie Moore/Yvan Cournoyer
    #16 Henri Richard
    #18 Serge Savard
    #29 Ken Dryden

    PS. JT: Quoi? Je suis un Quebecois! What the heck are you talking about?

  17. #17 Phrank O'Fone says:
    September 14, 2006 at 12:07 am

    Just a note, Rob. Ken played 8 years (not 7) and beat the Blackhawks in ’71, after beating the Bruins and North Stars. IMO, and I’ve seen every game both have played in Monreal – Dryden ain’t even close to Roy. The talent shooting at Roy was stronger than what Dryden faced cuddled behing the big three. It’s got way more to do with than stats. That doesn’t diminish Dryden – he did what he did.

  18. #18 koivufan says:
    September 14, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    congradulations to dryden and savard. I am starting to worry though that we might run out of numbers because there are still too many great habs that deserve it too. As for Roy, he deserves it as well. I read through the comments and some people say they have not yet forgotten about him. Well I have and he has done a lot for us. If it wasn’t for Roy we wouldn’t have won the cup in 93. Again congradulations to #29 and #18, well deserved.

  19. Phrank:

    You are correct to a degree on several counts. However, Dryden did only play 7 FULL seasons. In 1971, he only played 6 regular season games so I didn’t count that one, and he took the 1973-74 season to complete his articling year for law school. Of interest, he was paid $7500 by his law firm for that year.

    You are also right about the fact that he beat the Bruins, the North Stars and the Black Hawks in that order, but everyone understands that the first round win against the Bruins (who were highly favored to win the Cup in 1971) was the one that mattered the most that year.

    It is not really worth arguing who was better since KD and PR played at different times. Who was a better hitter? Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds? Of his era, KD was the best goaltender in the world. PR’s number will hang above the rafters one day too, but not before KD’s. I watched both these goaltenders closely at the old forum too, and let me tell you that when PR decided that he wasn’t going to let a puck get by him that was a thing of beauty.

    Thanks for your comments.

  20. Savard and Dryden will take the trip to the ceiling, and deserve to. Roy must be next in line. He carried this club for ten of their hundred year history. He, like Plante changed the position. That only happens in Montreal.
    I’m sure most fans would like to show him the respect he deserves while we and he are still young. The NHL retired #99 period. Roy deserves at least this honour. Plante-Dryden-Roy!!!!!!

  21. #21 SLAP SHOT says:
    October 4, 2006 at 5:17 pm


  22. #22 Bluenose says:
    November 18, 2006 at 9:02 am

    Just for the record, # 16 was retired for Henri Richard AND Elmer Lach, like #12 for both Cournoyer AND Moore.

    # 33 should be up in the rafters one day, but not before #19 and #23.

  23. #23 dan brien says:
    November 13, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Amen to that! – Larry and Bob should be up there for sure. (Actually, I was a big Shutt fan, so I wouldn’t mind seeing a 22 in the rafters, but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon). When you have a storied legacy full of hockey heroes, don’t complain when the honours pile up. There are worse things than having too many jersey retired. And it may remain officially unsaid, but your number doesn’t get hoisted for playing performance alone – Montreal demands much from its heroes and gets it in spades, in leadership, community involvement and class. Sorry, Patrick, you won us the cup in ’86, you were an inspiration for many, but your departure was more than a tantrum – it was a slap in the face of a whole community who suffered with you on that horrible night – 33 is going to have to wait a while…

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