The Gazette’s Red Fisher continues his look at the Top 10 trades in Canadiens’ history. At No. 2 is the trade that brought the rights for Ken Dryden to Montreal with Alex Campbell for Guy Allen and Paul Reid in June 1964.
Fisher writes: Dryden had spent most of his first professional season with the American Hockey League’s Voyageurs. Canadiens GM Sam Pollock liked what he saw. He wanted to see more. With time running out on the regular season, Dryden joined the Canadiens and, astonishingly, won all six of his starts with an eye-opening 1.65 goals-against average.
It was clear to Pollock that his team’s biggest weakness was the Rogatien Vachon-Phil Myre tandem. But why would anyone start a goaltender with only six games of NHL experience against the Big Bad Bruins?
The day before the start of the playoffs in Boston, Pollock stunned everyone by announcing Dryden would be the Canadiens’ starter, Vachon the backup.
The Canadiens, with Dryden in the nets, won every series on the road: Boston in seven games, Minnesota in six and the Stanley Cup in Chicago in seven. In the season finale, the Canadiens trailed Chicago 2-0 before a goal by Jacques Lemaire and two by Henri Richard sent the Canadiens home with the Cup.