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Leafs' Dryden resigns to pursue public office

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Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Ken Dryden has stepped down from his position as president of the Toronto Maple Leafs to run for public office. Dryden joined the Maple Leafs in 1997 as president and general manager. He re- assigned the GM position to head coach Pat Quinn in July 1999.

"Ken has been an outstanding ambassador for our organization over the last seven years and the game of hockey. He played an instrumental role on and off the ice and has left his mark in so many positive ways," said Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. "Moving into politics is a natural fit for Ken. He has always been passionate about serving the community and being a strong role model."

Dryden will run as a Liberal candidate in pursuit of a federal seat in the House of Commons.

"I would like to thank you for the last seven years," Dryden said in a letter to Leafs fans on the team's web site.

The Maple Leafs returned to the Eastern Conference during Dryden's watch and reached a pair of conference finals, losing to Buffalo in 1999 and falling to Carolina in 2002.

"We have had some crushing moments these last seven years; we've had some great moments. My goal since I joined the Leafs has always been to have on the ice a team as good as our fans. We have never quite gotten there. Some day we will."

Dryden, a Hamilton, Ontario native, was a three-time All-American goaltender at Cornell University. He then went on to a stellar career with the Montreal Canadiens .

After joining the Canadiens for six games in 1971, he led the club to the Stanley Cup title and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. The following year he won the Calder Trophy as the league's Rookie of the Year.

Dryden won six Stanley Cups with Montreal, including four straight from 1976-79, before retiring after the '78-79 season. He was also a five-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league's top goaltender and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.

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