Thursday, January 1, 2009

OE Knows Illinois - The Original Six

No, the Original Six were not the first six teams to join the NHL. They were the only six teams to survive the pressures of the Great Depression and World War II.


The Original Six is a well-known term for the six teams which comprised the National Hockey League (NHL) for the 25 seasons between the 1942-43 NHL season and the 1967 NHL Expansion....

The Original Six teams are:

Montreal Canadiens (Founded 1909, charter member of NHL in 1917)
Toronto Maple Leafs (original Toronto franchise was charter member in 1917, and was renamed Maple Leafs in 1927)
Boston Bruins (Founded 1924)
Detroit Red Wings (Founded 1926)
Chicago Blackhawks (Founded 1926)
New York Rangers (Founded 1926)...

A ten team league in the 1920s, the NHL had a period of retrenchment in the wake of the Great Depression, losing in succession the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ottawa Senators and Montreal Maroons to financial pressures. The New York Americans - one of the league's original expansion franchises, with the Bruins and Maroons - lasted longer, but World War II provided its own economic pressures, as well as severely depleting the league's Canadian player base with wartime pressures. The Americans suspended operations in the fall of 1942, leaving the NHL with six remaining teams. Despite various efforts to expand further post-War, including attempted restarts of the Maroons' and Americans' franchises, league membership would remain at those six teams for the next twenty-five seasons.

And the Chicago Blackhawks didn't do too badly. Wikipedia notes their success.

Stanley Cups 1933–34, 1937–38, 1960–61

Conference championships 1991–92

Division championships 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1982–83, 1985–86, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93

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