Before the Cornell men's hockey team takes the ice to battle Union on Friday, Feb. 26, the numbers of former Cornell hockey greats Ken Dryden '69 and Joe Nieuwendyk '86 will be raised to the rafters of Lynah Rink, never to be worn again.
While both Dryden's No. 1 and Nieuwendyk's No. 25 have been worn since the two players left Cornell, they will be permanently taken out of use among the Cornell hockey team. The two numbers are believed to be the first two numbers to be officially retired among all 36 varsity athletic teams at Cornell.
Both of the former players will be on hand for the retirement ceremony, with this weekend serving as the most opportune time to do so. Nieuwendyk, currently the general manager of the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars, is ending a two-week break due to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and Dryden is a member of the Canadian Parliament, which is not in session again until the end of the Olympic games.
Both players had outstanding careers while at Cornell, but it is their accomplishments after leaving Ithaca that have earned them this honor, Cornell athletics officials said. Both were recipients of the NHL's Calder Trophy (best rookie) and the Conn Smythe Trophy (most valuable player of the playoffs) while also being the only Cornell players to have won the Stanley Cup.
Kevin Zeise is assistant director of athletic communications. Photos courtesy of athletics communications.