Ken Dryden and His Statue, The Goalie, Back in Saint-Laurent!

Published October 30, 2023 - 10:28 am
Last updated February 20, 2024 - 2:54 pm

The return to Saint-Laurent of The Goalie, a public work of art by Canadian artist Robin Bell, was officially celebrated on October 28 in the presence of Ken Dryden, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens from 1971 to 1979.

The event brought together close to 150 people around the statue installed at the front of the recently renovated Aréna Raymond-Bourque. Ericka Alneus, City Councillor for the borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie and member of Ville de Montréal’s Executive Committee,responsible for culture and heritage; Alan DeSousa, Mayor of Saint-Laurent; and members of the Saint-Laurent Council were also in attendance. As it may be recalled, The Goalie was exhibited from 1985 to 2011 at Place Vertu, before being moved to Place Montréal Trust.

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Thanks to a donation from Ivanhoé Cambridge to Ville de Montréal’s municipal public art collection, Saint-Laurent residents can once again admire this work of art, enhanced by landscaping designed by the Fahey firm in collaboration with municipal teams. 

The Goalie is a bronze sculpture over two metres high, featuring goaltender Ken Dryden in his legendary stance, chin resting on his arms crossed on top of his stick, in front of his net. The work of art highlights the renown of this player, one of the most famous goaltenders that hockey has ever known.  

Robin Bell created this work in 1985, taking photos of Ken Dryden and studying this hockey player’s equipment in detail in his studio in Pietrasanta, Italy. The clay model was then cast at the Fonderia Artistica Mariani in Pietrasanta, with which the artist collaborates on most of his projects. 

Many hockey fans, including members of Hockey Saint-Laurent, the Saint-Laurent figure skating club and Ringuette Saint-Laurent—the three Saint-Laurent clubs that use the Aréna Raymond-Bourque—were able to take the opportunity of Ken Dryden’s presence on Saturday, October 28, to obtain the autograph of this legendary goaltender around the statue of  him dressed in his hockey gear.   

This donation has made it possible for the tribute sculpture to return to Saint-Laurent in order to be showcased at a venue dedicated to the practice of ice sports. And so it now stands alongside photos of Raymond Bourque, another hockey legend, at the entrance to the arena that bears his name and whose reopening he celebrated in a completely renovated building over a year ago. 

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Ken Dryden is a legend of his sport, represented here at the peak of his career in this larger-than-life work of art. That’s why The Goalie has left such an enduring impression on the minds of Saint-Laurent residents! I’d like to thank him for coming to celebrate the return of his sculpture to our territory after a ten-year absence, which was made possible thanks to a donation from Ivanhoé Cambridge. Its installation in front of the renovated Aréna Raymond-Bourque is sure to inspire a whole new generation of young Saint-Laurent hockey players.

Hockey is part of Montréal’s identity. It unites us and makes us proud. I’m delighted that an outstanding player like Ken Dryden is being honoured in the city that saw him win six Stanley Cups with the Canadiens. Mr. Dryden is truly one of a kind! His imposing style that conveys great calm is well interpreted in this bronze creation by artist Robin Bell, depicting Mr. Dryden in his signature stance. Young people visiting the arena will discover an inspiring work of art as well as a beautiful representation of a great hero of our national sport.

Growing up, I never imagined playing in the NHL. I certainly never imagined playing for the Montreal Canadiens, and winning Stanley Cups. But even more unimaginable was having a statue done of me. And now, having it here, at this arena, where now and in the future, thousands of kids will play is a genuine honour.