Vice chairman to run for House of Commons seat

Updated: May 19, 2004, 6:55 PM ET news services

TORONTO -- After spending seven years as an executive with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ken Dryden is running for federal office.

The team announced on Monday that Dryden is stepping down from his position as vice chairman to pursue a federal seat in the House of Commons. The 56-year-old will run for Canada's governing Liberal Party.

He announced his plans at center ice at Air Canada Centre, home of the Maple Leafs. A federal election is expected to be called within days.

"Ken has been an outstanding ambassador for our organization over the last seven years and the game of hockey," Maple Leafs chairman Larry Tanenbaum said. "Moving into politics is a natural fit for Ken. He has always been passionate about serving the community and being a strong role model."

A Hall of Fame goaltender and a six-time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens, Dryden joined the Maple Leafs as president in May 1997. He added the additional duties of general manager that summer before assigning the position to coach Pat Quinn in July 1999.

In July 2003, Dryden was named vice chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Limited and a member of the team's board of directors.

"Leafs fans and MLSEL saw this passion through his work with the Leafs charitable arm, Go Kids Go! The Leafs Fund," Tanenbaum said. "It's fitting that he's moving to a field where he can continue to serve the community."

A graduate of Cornell University in 1969, Dryden completed law school at McGill University while playing for the Canadiens.

Information from SportsTicker and The Associated Press was used in this report.