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Invent the Game

Today most defenseman know a spin-o-rama is coming when a forward enters the zone if his teammates need to catch up. In other words the game needs to once again be invented.

If you’re looking for a great summer read try Ken Dryden’s book The Game, which is part autobiography, part hockey manifesto. I find the book interesting because Dryden’s hockey journey was like few others. In the middle of a hall of fame career he takes a year off to finish his law degree when the Canadians refuse to offer him a solid contract. Another unique fact regarding Dryden involves him winning the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP of the playoffs before winning rookie of the year the following season. He is the only player in NHL history to do so.

As a former player and current coach what I like most about the book is Dryden’s admiration for teammate Guy Lafleur. Dryden recalls his playtime on the ice before games as essential to Lafleur’s ability to invent the game of hockey. According to Dryden Lafleur’s pre-game ritual involved taking the ice alone to find sweet spots along the boards as well as any dead areas that might cause problems. 

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