Ken Dryden didn’t want to write about the 1972 highs series.
Then COVID-19 hit.
With the borders closed and her children and grandchildren living in the United States, her plans for Christmas 2020 quickly changed.
“So I had a few days where I wasn’t doing what I imagined we would be doing. I just said, ‘OK, if I have to write what I’m not going to write, what am I going to write? would write? “Dryden told The Canadian Press.
Relying solely on his own memories, he sat down and, “in a kind of frenzy”, wrote his latest book: “The Series: What I Remember, How It Was, How It Feels Now “. The hardcover was published Tuesday by McClelland & Stewart.
Across 192 beautiful pages, the book combines a Summit Series player’s memories with photos, letters and other memories to give the reader deeply personal insight into eight games that united a nation.
There is a postcard sent to Timmins, Ontario, by a Canadian who attended a game in Moscow. There are editorial cartoons that depict the differences between Canadian and Russian hockey fans. There is a piece of envelope that Canadian winger Frank Mahovlich wrote a play on.
These are the images that Dryden and the rest of the team couldn’t see nearly 50 years ago.
“It’s like a sacred cow,” he said. “We were in Moscow at that time. I never imagined people would look that way.”
Another item that caught Dryden’s attention was a diary entry by a young Igor Kuperman, recounting in Russian every detail of Game 5, from the goals to the shirts worn by each team.
In the entry, the author saw a universal experience.
Dryden also leaves readers on his own personal journey, detailing in vivid color what he remembers – and what he doesn’t – of the late summer and fall of 1972, including the moments before the first game.
“I don’t remember flying to Montreal. I don’t remember the day of the game. I don’t remember the locker room,” he wrote. “All I remember is a feeling of building and building, growing and growing. That’s what happens before a Stanley Cup series, before a Stanley Cup Finals, but not like that.
“He built where he could no longer build, grew where he had no more room to grow, then he built and grew again.”
“Put ‘Em There At That Time”
These are details that transport the reader not just to 1972, but to the ice, inside the helmet of a goaltender who helped write history.
Dryden wanted his latest book to tell the story of the Summit series in a way that people who didn’t know the games nearly 50 years ago could understand.
“The only way to do that would be to put them there, literally put them there at this time,” he said. “And the timing, of course, isn’t just the timing, it’s the introductory moments up to that.
“So what would have been in us as players? What would have been in us as 22 million Canadians at that particular moment that made us react like we did? And to generate the kind of vehement, vivid memories that come from it.”