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'Original Six' Talk

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Who is your favourite 'Original Six' Team?

15% 15% [ 2 ]
31% 31% [ 4 ]
8% 8% [ 1 ]
23% 23% [ 3 ]
0% 0% [ 0 ]
8% 8% [ 1 ]
15% 15% [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 13

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1 'Original Six' Talk on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:22 pm

davetherave

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Those of us who remember a six-team NHL often recall that era with a significant degree of wistfulness. Passionate discussions of the merits of hockey 'then' and 'now' are one of the aspects of being an 'Original Six' fan.

Knowing the history behind the 'Original Six' and the reasons for expansion in mid-sixties which continued to become the 30 teams we have today, helps to understand why hockey has evolved to its present form.

It is also a reminder of a time when it was much less likely to have a 'local' team to affix one loyalties to. Being from Ottawa in the pre-Senators era, choosing between Toronto and Montreal--especially if one particularly liked neither--often led to selecting one of the other Original Six franchises as 'your' team.

The term 'Original Six' is actually a misnomer, as this excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the subject makes clear:

The Original Six is a term for the group of six teams that composed the National Hockey League (NHL) for the 25 seasons between the 1942-43 season and the 1967 NHL Expansion. The name is a misnomer, since there were other NHL franchises that went defunct before 1942. Only two of the six teams were members of the NHL in the inaugural 1917-18 season, but all six do date from the NHL's first decade, and predate the other 24 teams currently in the league by over forty years.

The Original Six teams are:

  • Montreal Canadiens (founded 1909; charter member of the NHL in 1917)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs (original Toronto St. Pats franchise was charter member of the NHL in 1917; renamed Maple Leafs in 1927)
  • Boston Bruins (founded 1924)
  • New York Rangers (founded 1925)
  • Detroit Red Wings (founded 1926; moved from Victoria, BC; originally named Cougars, then Falcons)
  • Chicago Blackhawks (founded 1926, known as the "Black Hawks" throughout the period; moved from Portland, OR; originally named Rosebuds)

A ten-team league in the 1920s, the NHL had a period of retrenchment during the Great Depression, losing the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Maroons in succession to financial pressures. The New York Americans – one of the league's original expansion franchises, along with the Bruins and Maroons – lasted longer, but World War II provided its own economic strains and also severely depleted the league's Canadian player base, since Canada entered the war in September 1939 and many players left for military or naval service. The Americans suspended operations in the fall of 1942, leaving the NHL with just six teams.

Despite various efforts to initiate expansion after the war, including attempted restarts of the Maroons and Americans franchises, the league's membership would remain at six teams for the next twenty-five seasons.

By the 1960s, however, it was becoming increasingly obvious that if the NHL did not expand, a rival league would fill the void. The American Football League was proving to be highly successful at the time, convincing many people that a rival hockey league would also succeed.

In particular, the Western Hockey League had moved into a number of major Pacific Coast markets, and had accumulated strong rosters with talent barred from the static rosters of the NHL. This, plus the prospect of more lucrative U.S. television contracts, convinced the six owners to go ahead with expansion.

All of the Original Six franchises still exist, with no major identity changes and no relocations to other cities.

Though 1942 is the widely accepted year for the beginning of the Original Six era, it was not until the 1959-60 season that every active NHL player had only played for Original Six teams. The last player who did not fall into this category was former Brooklyn Americans player Ken Mosdell, who retired after the 1959 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The last player from the Original Six was the Boston Bruins' Wayne Cashman, who last played during the 1983 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The last active goaltender from the Original Six era was Rogatien Vachon, who retired in 1982 with Boston.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_Six

On this thread, I'd like to invite discussion of Original Six teams, yesterday and today, including comments by fans of those teams to discuss their choices of those teams as their favorites.

The resurgence of Original Six teams like the Bruins and Blackhawks means that all, except the Maple Leafs, have an opportunity this year to compete for the Stanley Cup. This also makes the possibility of an 'Original Six' Stanley Cup Final--not held since the Canadiens played the Rangers for the Cup in 1979--a full 30 years ago--a real one.

Looking forward to your thoughts.



Last edited by davetherave on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:26 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : poll)

2 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:02 am

davetherave

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So...anybody want to talk about the 'Original Six'? Or any other original NHL teams?
:face:

3 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:28 am

caissie_1

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My favorite original six team is the Blackhawks. I wish i could of seen some of the great's play.

4 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:39 am

davetherave

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Caissie, watching Bobby Hull wind up from the Hawks' end, rush down the ice and unleash an atomic powered slapshot that usually found the net (and made more than one goalie 'wave at it' as it went by LOL)...I can tell you those memories are as electrifying today as they were more than forty years ago.
:D

5 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:44 am

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Boston. Orr was my hero growing up.

6 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:46 am

wprager

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My favorite player growing up was Alexander Yakushev. Not exactly O6.

7 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:01 pm

davetherave

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wprager wrote:My favorite player growing up was Alexander Yakushev. Not exactly O6.

Yakushev trumps O6...one of the greatest players ever.

I was a big Valery Kharlamov fan myself...and who can forget Vladislav Tretiak?

:face:

8 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:40 pm

wprager

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I met Kharlamov once. Well, not so much met as I was in some room and my dad pointed across it and said that's Kharlamov. And all I could think of was, wow, is this guy ever short!

What can you say about Tretiak that hasn't already been said. My first full year in Canada was that New Year's Eve game between the Central Red Army (basically the USSR All-Stars) and the Habs. By that time I had become a huge Habs fan, but I still had some favorite players. Unfortunately Yakushev had retired that year, but I was still a big Tretiak fan. And a big Dryden fan. Wow, was I ever conflicted. Luckily it ended 3-3 in the greatest game ever.

9 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:41 am

davetherave

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Prags, you may remember the Montreal Canadiens held Tretiak's rights. It was said in the sports media in this country at the time, that he was offered a ton of money to play in the NHL but turned it down; other versions of the story had the government in the USSR prohibiting him from accepting the deal.

From Tretiak's Wikipedia entry:

Tretiak retired in 1984, fittingly following a 2-0 victory over Czechoslovakia. In 1990, Mike Keenan hired Tretiak as a goaltender coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, which has allowed him to coach some of the top goalies of the past 15 years, such as Ed Belfour, Dominik Hašek, Jocelyn Thibault, and Martin Brodeur. Tretiak has personally said that coaching was the next best thing to playing in the NHL. Hawks coach Mike Keenan was so impressed with Tretiak's abilities in practice that he suggested 38-year-old might still be able to play in the NHL. Today, Tretiak is still a goaltending consultant to the Chicago Blackhawks. Since leaving the Blackhawks, Ed Belfour has worn uniform number 20 as a tribute to Tretiak. Numerous other goalies, including Evgeni Nabokov, wear #20 as a tribute to Tretiak.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladislav_Tretiak

A truly great hockey player and a fascinating man.

Also, the first Russian-born player to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

http://www.legendsofhockey.net/html/spot_oneononep198903.htm



Last edited by davetherave on Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:49 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : addition)

10 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:19 pm

Cap'n Clutch

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I voted none of the above and went with the Silver Seven :D


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11 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:41 pm

davetherave

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Excellent choice Cap'n :D

I am surprised to find out more than a few fans don't know the Silver Seven and Original Senators were multiple Stanley Cup winners...
scratch

12 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:46 pm

asq2

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Good ol' King Clancy.

We could use him now.

13 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:57 pm

davetherave

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asq2 wrote:Good ol' King Clancy.

We could use him now.

...and Cyclone Taylor, and Cy Denneny 8)

14 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:14 pm

asq2

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davetherave wrote:
asq2 wrote:Good ol' King Clancy.

We could use him now.

...and Cyclone Taylor, and Cy Denneny 8)

I imagine Frank Nighbor would look terrific with Fisher, too.

Frank McGee would probably help with secondary scoring. And we mustn't forget Percy LeSueur and Clint Benedict...

15 Re: 'Original Six' Talk on Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:19 pm

asq2

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I'll be looking for that jersey at the Sens store. :cyclops:

In all seriousness, as you've pointed out a number of times, Ottawa has a pretty rich hockey heritage. It's a shame more effort hasn't been put into connecting the current franchise with that.

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