Hockey DayDick Irvin selects his hockey heroes
By CBC Sports
Posted: Monday, February 6, 2012 | 10:56 AMBack to accessibility links
Supporting Story Content
End of Supporting Story ContentBack to accessibility links
Beginning of Story Content
CBC Sports: After watching the NHL through 8 decades, you have seen as much if not more than anyone else. With the Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada program themed on heroes this year, who do you think of when it comes to NHL heroes?
We are talking a lot today about heroes today on this show and I guess from a national hockey league players stand point you can't become any more of a hero than to have people say you were the person who was mainly responsible for your team winning the Stanley Cup
In my 33 years in the broadcast booth a lot of names come to mind that fit that category. I go back to Dave Keon and Bobby Orr and there was Bernie Parent and there was Guy Lafleur and Mark Messier and Bryan Trottier, and Wayne and Mario.
And when people ask me about this question and to be specific I really am not, I remember a year, 1971 the year the Montreal Canadiens weren't supposed to win the Stanley Cup. The Bruins were the defenders, they finished 24 points ahead of Montreal in the regular season they were dominant. They played Montreal in the first round, won the first game and were leading 5-1 in the second period in the second game when the Canadiens came back to win it 7-5, one of their most famous playoff games of all.
Two players were the heroes in my recollection of that Stanley Cup win. A veteran named Frank Mahavolich and a raw rookie named Ken Dryden. The Canadiens had obtained Mahavolich in a trade with Detroit. Once the playoffs began the Big M was magnificent, he led all goal scorers with 14 and all point getters with 27 and he was without a doubt the main presence on the ice for the Canadiens throughout the entire playoff year.
And then there was the raw rookie, Ken Dryden, who had played just 6 regular season games but who played 20 games, all 20 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. You have to play a whole career, a lifetime to become a legend, Dryden's legend was made after those 20 games.
He stood tall against the likes of Phil Esposito,and Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita. His save off Jim Pappin in the final game in the Chicago stadium was maybe the most famous save he ever made throughout his long and successful NHL career.
Mahavolich and Dryden, my choices as the heroes for that unexpected Stanley Cup win.
But think of this, eight players from that Montreal team were subsequently voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, so maybe that upset of 1971 wasn't such an upset after all!
End of Story ContentBack to accessibility links
Story Social Media
End of Story Social Media
Latest NHL Stories
- Swede swap: Jhonas Enroth replaces injured Robin Lehner at World Cup of Hockey
- Sweden has selected Jhonas Enroth to replace injured goaltender Robin Lehner on its World Cup of Hockey roster. Lehner was bothered by an ankle injury last season while playing for the Buffalo Sabres. Sweden coach Rikard Gronborg said Lehner had not recovered 100 per cent. more »
- Colorado Avalanche hire Jared Bednar as head coach
- The Colorado Avalanche have hired Jared Bednar as their new head coach. Bednar replaces Patrick Roy, who abruptly stepped down as coach and vice president of hockey operations earlier this month. more »
- Rangers agree to 1-year deal with Brandon Pirri
- The New York Rangers have agreed to terms with forward Brandon Pirri on a $1.1 million US, one-year deal. The 25-year-old Pirri spent last season with the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks, recording 14 goals and 15 assists in 61 games. His 29 points were a career high. more »
- NHL free agency and trade tracker
- Get up to speed on the latest important signings and trades from the NHL's off-season. more »
Top Sports Stories
- Tory Nyhaug wins 13th Canadian BMX title after Rio disappointment
- Tory Nyhaug has won his 13th title at the BMX Canadian Championships in Calgary, less than a week after he returned from a disappointing Olympic Games in Brazil. more »
- Melvin Upton Jr. rallies Blue Jays past Twins
- Melvin Upton Jr. hit an RBI triple and came home on an error in the eighth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to an 8-7 win over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday afternoon. more »
- John McEnroe won't work with Milos Raonic during U.S. Open
- John McEnroe says he won't work with Milos Raonic during the U.S. Open "for Milos' sake, for ESPN and my sake." more »
- Why some Paralympic athletes are self-harming to get an edge
- It's official: Russian athletes have been banned from the 2016 Paralympic Games over allegations of steroid use. But some Paralympians are experimenting with another kind of performance enhancement. It's called "boosting," and it's dangerous. Quadriplegic rock climber Brad Zdanivsky tells Brent about the dangerous tactic and why he still boosts in spite of the risks. more »
Send Your Feedback
Do you have improvements to suggest for this page?