My Hockey Family

The image below, from the Cochrane Times-Post (formerly the Northland Post) shows hockey and donut great Tim Horton at Central Public School in Cochrane, Ontario in the late 1930s. He’s the kid in the second row from the right in the hockey sweater. Photo courtesy of my mother, who went to the same school.

Tim Horton at School, Cochrane, Ontario, late 1930s

My family’s association with hockey isn’t limited to that admitedly indirect connection. We count both Gus Bodnar and Ken Dryden as our cousins.

Gus Bodnar and Ken Dryden

Gus Bodnar, related through my father’s mother, holds the record for fastest goal by a rookie in his first NHL game, and won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1944. He played in the NHL for Toronto from 1943 to 1946, then Chicago from 1947 to 1953 and Boston for a single season in 1954.

Ken Dryden, related through my mother’s mother, also won the Calder Memorial Trophy, in his case in 1972. He played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1970 to 1979.

And it doesn’t even stop there: another northern Ontario boy, dubbed Rocky Rukavina as a player, ‘though not related directly to us, also had his time in the spotlight. You can hear more about him (and the connections above) in this CBC feature [RealAudio] that aired last year.

And finally there’s the Frank Rukavina Arena in Silver Bay, Minnesota (an area near and dear to Buzz Bruggeman’s heart).

Irony of ironies, I find myself unable to watch, play, or express any interest in the game (beyond these family interests). This is more than I can say for my brother Johnny.

Comments

steve rukavina's picture
steve rukavina on January 10, 2002 - 15:48

Pete:

Gus Bodnar also still holds the current NHL record for the three fastest assists of all time. Gus set up all three of Bill Moisienko’s legendary 3 goals in 21 seconds.

Alan's picture
Alan on January 10, 2002 - 22:57

I left Peter a phone message when I read this message so shocked was I to find…we are family. You see, if Mrs. R’s mother is related to Ken Dryden, Wee Oliver is a cousin to our Abby and Davey. My wife’s grannie, Evelyn Penny, is first cousin to Ken and Dave’s Dad Murray, who still lives and runs a very worthy charity called children sleeping around the world. [This is the second time this has
occurred, other good pals from Sackville NB turning out to be fifth cousins to my wife.]

Of further interest are the other Dryden clan members who played in the NHL, won the Cup and entered the Hockey Hall of Fame. Another first cousin is Andy Blair of the 1930’s Leafs. Syl Apps capitain of the Leafs in the post-war years, Syl Apps Jr of the Penguins in the 1970’s [and Syl Apps III of the St. John’s Leafs of a few years ago] are all second cousins. We have family photos of Blair, Apps and our pal Evelyn handing out as teens in the early 30’s. My favorite of them all, however is Murray Murdoch who was a third cousin. He played for the Rangers from 1926 to 1936 and then coached Yale from 1937 to the sixties. He passed away about a year ago but a year before that I wrote him a letter and received a hour long call in reply. He was 96, sharp as anything and loved to talk about hockey. He said in the early 20’s he was the best kid playing in Winnipeg when he was 12 until Andy Blair showed up at 8 and could skate rings around him. In 1936, Syl Apps was a Leaf, Murray Murdoch was a Ranger and Andy Blair was a Black Hawk after years as a Leaf.

All played in an All Star Game, four are in the Hall of Fame and three won the Stanley Cup.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on January 10, 2002 - 23:40

My mother’s great great grandmother and Ken Dryden’s great great grandfather were brother and sister. I believe this makes my mother and Ken Dryden third cousins, and makes Ken Dryden my third cousin, once removed. And Ken Dryden’s children would be my fourth cousins.

We went to the Dryden Family Reunion when I was a kid — it was in Cambridge, I think. I remember Ken’s father talking about his bed program.

Alan's picture
Alan on January 11, 2002 - 00:44

You are way back, then, which makes all of the NHLers — Apps’s, Blair and Murdoch — likely family as well — definitely Apps and Blair at least. They are all directly on the same branch of the Dryden tree. My wife’s grannie keeps up regular contact with Ken and Dave’s Dad and the kids, through their Owen Sound Great Grannie, sponsor the kids around the world every year.

I just worked out the tree from the family tree we have on our computer [god love the mormans!]. I may be off a generation but…if you are up the Dryden Tree and tied to Ken as you have described, your common ancestor is Andrew Dryden of 1799-1848, your and my wife’s great great great great grandfather. My wife’s family, like Ken’s, follows from the next gen, Andrew Dryden of 1822-1988. There were 8 kids in that generation and your family takes from another one of the eight. That makes your mother, my mother-in-law and Ken fourth cousins. Your grandparent and Ken’s Dad and the lady in Owen Sound are thirds. You and my wife, Ellen, are fifth cousins and your wee Oliver and our Abby and Davey are sixth cousins. We have early clan photos of these guys, by the way, all the way back.

This may all sound over extended but in Scots — and Drydens especially — cousin is cousin. My folks are direct Scots and I have fifths that are quite close in a family sense — I will be over to borrow a $20 soon! If you give me all the names up the tree you can, my wife is visiting grannie next month and can refer to “the Dryden Book” — maybe you have a copy, too — and get it all fixed.

Alan's picture
Alan on January 11, 2002 - 00:44

You are way back, then, which makes all of the NHLers — Apps’s, Blair and Murdoch — likely family as well — definitely Apps and Blair at least. They are all directly on the same branch of the Dryden tree. My wife’s grannie keeps up regular contact with Ken and Dave’s Dad and the kids, through their Owen Sound Great Grannie, sponsor the kids around the world every year.

I just worked out the tree from the family tree we have on our computer [god love the mormans!]. I may be off a generation but…if you are up the Dryden Tree and tied to Ken as you have described, your common ancestor is Andrew Dryden of 1799-1848, your and my wife’s great great great great grandfather. My wife’s family, like Ken’s, follows from the next gen, Andrew Dryden of 1822-1988. There were 8 kids in that generation and your family takes from another one of the eight. That makes your mother, my mother-in-law and Ken fourth cousins. Your grandparent and Ken’s Dad and the lady in Owen Sound are thirds. You and my wife, Ellen, are fifth cousins and your wee Oliver and our Abby and Davey are sixth cousins. We have early clan photos of these guys, by the way, all the way back.

This may all sound over extended but in Scots — and Drydens especially — cousin is cousin. My folks are direct Scots and I have fifths that are quite close in a family sense — I will be over to borrow a $20 soon! If you give me all the names up the tree you can, my wife is visiting grannie next month and can refer to “the Dryden Book” — maybe you have a copy, too — and get it all fixed.

K. McGee's picture
K. McGee on June 5, 2003 - 01:30

My son and his cousin, now have children. My son and his cousin are first cousins, is their children second cousins? Or is my son, second cousin to his cousins children? If that is the case what are their children to each other?

Alan's picture
Alan on June 5, 2003 - 13:51

The children of first cousins are second cousins. The “removeds” relate to the relationship between cousins of unequal distance from the shared ancestor. The child of one first cousin is the first cousin once removed to his or her parent’s first cousin.

Jennie Jones's picture
Jennie Jones on February 21, 2004 - 20:21

Hi Um I need to know Ken Drydens email address Because If you trace His family tree his Great aunt was my grandmas Great aunt I think that is what my mom said anyway I want to talk to him and im 13 so Im excited to find out I have a family member who was a hockey player and konws Tie Domi. please get him to email me.

Jennie Jones's picture
Jennie Jones on February 21, 2004 - 20:22

oops I spelt Knows wrong

Ben Dover's picture
Ben Dover on April 27, 2004 - 16:28

the sky is blue. Its gonna rain today because I killed a big spider that was on my wall.

Ashlyn Schwaiger's picture
Ashlyn Schwaiger on September 9, 2004 - 06:03

Hi! Wow this is so wierd that I found this page. I am also related to Ken and Dave Dryden…my family has know it for some time but because my Mom’s Aunt Gladys died when I was little, we were never able to get ahold of our family from the East (we live on the Pacific Coast). We know we’re related to them because of the Campbell Chronicle, the “yearbook” that my Grandfather’s side puts out every few years. I’ve been trying to email Ken since he’s been campaigning (since his email is easier to get ahold of now), but now that the election’s over, and his new email is not yet posted, so far no luck. I’m moving to Ottawa soon so I would love to get ahold of some of my family there! Please help?

Nancy Dryden Lorieau's picture
Nancy Dryden Lorieau on April 23, 2009 - 08:46

I think perhaps Ken Dryden is a descendant of my grandfather’s brother. My dad wrote to him years ago, after I first came to Canada from Arizona in 1973, but never got an answer. Since I’ve been here, I keep running into people who ask if I’ve ever lived in Ontario or New Brunswick. Last night I saw a picture online of Ken Dryden as a young hockey player. He looked exactly like my son at that age. My brother looks a lot like Ken. ALL my family show unmistakable Dryden physical (and probably mental) characteristics.

If anyone reads this, please feel free to write.

lutfy's picture
lutfy on July 1, 2009 - 02:53

Hi,

My uncle is in the Cochrane picture, write me an email please. I grew up in Cochrane.

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