Dave Dryden was the backup goaltender to Gerry Cheevers on their Toronto Marlboros Major Junior Hockey team in the late fifties and early sixties this true journeyman goaltender has played for no less than 15 different teams across seven leagues.
Dave was an inch or two shorter than his younger brother each was over six feet tall and well-educated and both had a passion to play in net but their career paths were completely different as well as their skills and talents.
Few fans realize that Dave contributed so much to the goaltender position as far as equipment innovation but even fewer people know that he also was an amateur photographer that worked with a small Toronto company called Telecraft Films that created highlight content for the Sabres.
His camera/helmet gear looks so cumbersome and barbaric compared to what technology is available today, ironically the film footage shot by Mr. Dryden was not used in the movie it was meant for.
Mr. Dryden played in 10 games with a three-goalie rotation during Buffalo’s Inaugural NHL Season and earned decent stats across the board, in his second season with Buffalo, he played double the amount of games as Mr. Crozier’s only backup goaltender for the season and did not do as well.
Mr. Dryden’s third season with the Sabres was the charm as he was over 900 save percentage, a 2.65 GAA, and three shutouts, earning a 14-13-7 record as the backup goaltender as well as starting Buffalo’s first two playoff games.
Mr. Dryden’s fourth and last season with Buffalo at 32 years of age became the starter earning a 23-20-8 record on a team with a 32-34-12 overall record.
Mr. Dryden jumped to the WHA Chicago Cougars and then became an Edmonton Oilers player where he remained and was part of their first season in the NHL where Mr. Dryden was one of six goaltenders for Edmonton and played 14 games winning two and retired from playing after the 1979-80 season.
An average to good goaltender Mr. Dryden should not be remembered as a footnote or in the shadow of his brother but as a major NHL innovator of modern goaltending equipment and as a journeyman NHL goaltender who earned positive statistics as well as an outstanding WHA goalie.
I was a 12-year-old boy when Mr. Dryden left my boys for the WHA, and now in my later years I have watched him leave again, and although I never met him I have included the Dryden family in my thoughts and prayers.