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Dryden ready for Canadiens jersey retirement

The Montreal Canadiens will honour Ken Dryden Monday night when they raise the Hall of Fame goalie's No. 29 jersey to the rafters prior to the Habs' home game against the Ottawa Senators (CBC, 7:30 p.m. ET).

The Montreal Canadiens will honour Ken Dryden Monday night when they raise the Hall of Fame goalie's No. 29 jersey to the rafters prior to the Habs' home game against the Ottawa Senators (CBC, 7:30 p.m. ET).

Several Canadiens stars of the past, and other hockey celebrities, including former Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak, are expected to attend Monday's ceremony.

Dryden played for Montreal between 1971 and 1979, winning six Stanley Cups and five Vezina trophies as the NHL's premier goaltender.

He posted a 258-57-74 career record with a 2.24 goals-against average and 46 shutouts in 397 NHL appearances, all for Montreal.

Dryden said he is honoured to join an elite group of players to have their numbers retired by the Canadiens.

"The greatest were the stars you saw when you were nine or 10 years old," Dryden said Sunday. "They looked like they could skate and shoot 100 miles per hour.

"The people with their names on the banners here like [Jacques] Plante and [Doug] Harvey were of a different dimension. You never connect yourself to that."

Dryden established himself quickly with the Canadiens, playing in only six regular-season games before backstopping them to the 1971 Stanley Cup and earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the top playoff performer.

He later won the 1972 Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year, followed by five Vezinas (1973, 1976-79).

Dryden is now a Toronto MP for the federal Liberal party.

Dryden will be the 12th player to have his number retired by the Canadiens.

The others are: Jacques Plante (1); Doug Harvey (2); Jean Beliveau (4); Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion (5); Howie Morenz (7); Maurice (Rocket) Richard (9); Guy Lafleur (10); Yvon Cournoyer and Dickie Moore (12); Henri (Pocket Rocket) Richard (16); and Serge Savard (18).

Savard, a former Montreal defenceman and general manager, was honoured last November.