“Montador died three years after his last game, at 35. It prompted Dryden, who has several other books to his credit, to take a look at why and how this happened.”
Featured in Sports Illustrated Best Sports Books of 2017.
Dryden, a former NHL goalie, retired Canadian politician offers a startling hybrid of a biography and a call to save the lives of athletes who are vulnerable to brain damage caused by concussions. After a decent career, with more than 500 games on six NHL teams from 2001 to 2012, Montador dealt with concussion-related health issues.
The book also ventures into the stories of other players sidelined by brain injuries and the doctors who study the condition. Dryden proposes dramatic fixes for the “ever-escalating game,” such as limiting when players can be checked and eliminating all hits to the head and fighting, that is sure to anger traditionalists, but it’s hard to deny his powerful warning that by delaying taking action “we waste careers and lives.”
Dryden lays out a detailed depiction of the life and death of Steve Montador to provide one very vivid example of a situation that has become increasingly common in recent years as the game has become faster and the players have become bigger and stronger. And what a sad story Montador’s is, especially since it seems as though the misery that he suffered could have been prevented.
Dryden makes a clear case for two significant rule changes (and some other related amendments) that would undoubtedly decrease the growing number of brain injuries that players are experiencing.