Ken Houston statue unveiled in Dresden

A tribute to one of Dresden’s most iconic hockey players is now a permanent fixture for the public.

The community celebrated Ken Houston’s career on Tuesday with the unveiling of a statue outside the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Center.

Hundreds of people, including Mayor Darrin Canniff, the Dresden minor hockey teams and the Houston family, were on hand for the unveiling of the bronze figure.

“It’s very important to the community,” said Ken Houston Scholarship Committee Member Gary Patterson. “He was a very special person in this community. He never forgot Dresden.

The six-foot, 200-pound Dresden native spent seven seasons in the NHL, playing for the Atlanta Flames, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings.

“Ken was a legend,” Patterson said. “He was a tough-nosed player who played very well and didn’t take anything from anyone.”

In addition to fights, Houston is known to have had six 20-goal seasons during his NHL career. According to Patterson, Houston held the NHL record for most power-play goals in a five-game series until Wayne Gretzky passed it with six goals.

“Houston was a local guy and he stayed local,” Patterson said. “He loved this place. It was his town and he liked the people here. It’s a great moment here in Dresden and its hockey history.

Residents can find the statue just outside the gates at the east end of the arena. The unveiling of the statue coincided with the Dresden Minor Hockey Association’s awards night.

This year, the U15 and U18 teams are the 2022 Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) Champions.

“We have a big thing going on,” Patterson said. “We are also celebrating more champions in Dresden.”

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