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Encyclopedia > Original Six

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.[1] NHL redirects here. ... The 1942-43 season was the 26th NHL season. ... The National Hockey League added six new franchises for the 1967-68 NHL season, doubling the size of the league. ...


The Original Six teams are:

Contents

The Montreal Canadiens (French: ) are a professional mens ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... See also: 1908 in sports, 1910 in sports and the list of years in sports. Baseball The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Detroit Tigers, four games to three, in the World Series. ... See also: 1916 in sports, 1918 in sports and the list of years in sports. Football (Australian Rules) Victorian Football League - Collingwood wins the 21st VFL Premiership (Collingwood 9. ... For other uses, see Toronto Maple Leafs (disambiguation). ... See also: 1916 in sports, 1918 in sports and the list of years in sports. Football (Australian Rules) Victorian Football League - Collingwood wins the 21st VFL Premiership (Collingwood 9. ... The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ... See also: 1923 in sports, other events of 1924, 1925 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Baseball (Major Leage) Washington Senators def. ... The Detroit Red Wings are a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit, Michigan. ... See also: 1925 in sports, 1927 in sports and the list of years in sports. Cricket May 31 - India, New Zealand and West Indies are elected as Full Members of the Imperial Cricket Conference thus increasing the number of test playing nations to six. ... The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional mens ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. ... See also: 1925 in sports, 1927 in sports and the list of years in sports. Cricket May 31 - India, New Zealand and West Indies are elected as Full Members of the Imperial Cricket Conference thus increasing the number of test playing nations to six. ... The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in New York, New York, U.S.A. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). ... See also: 1925 in sports, 1927 in sports and the list of years in sports. Cricket May 31 - India, New Zealand and West Indies are elected as Full Members of the Imperial Cricket Conference thus increasing the number of test playing nations to six. ...

Background

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. For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ... The Pittsburgh Pirates were a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... This article is about the original Ottawa Senators. ... Montreal Maroons white logo Montreal Maroons dark logo The Montreal Maroons were a professional ice hockey team from Montreal, Quebec. ... The New York Americans were a NHL hockey team, the third expansion team in league history and the second to play in the United States. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


By the 1960s 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 this 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 finally convinced the six owners to go ahead with expansion. The American Football League (AFL) was a professional football league that operated from 1960 until 1969, when all of its teams were absorbed into the National Football League (NFL). ... The Western Hockey League was a minor pro ice hockey league that operated from 1952 to 1974. ...


All of the Original Six franchises are still in existence, with no major identity changes (though the Black Hawks resumed their original name "Blackhawks" in 1986), 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 NHL season that every active player had played for Original Six teams only. The last player who did not fall into this category, former Brooklyn Americans player Ken Mosdell, retired after the 1959 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The classic NHL shield logo The 1959-60 NHL season was the 43rd season of the National Hockey League. ... The New York Americans were a NHL hockey team, the third expansion team in league history and the second to play in the United States. ... Ken Mosdell (born July 13, 1922, Died January 5, 2006 in Montreal, Quebec) was a Canadian ice hockey forward. ... The Stanley Cup The Stanley Cup (French: ) is the championship trophy of the National Hockey League (NHL), the major professional ice hockey league in Canada and the United States. ...


The last active player from the Original Six era was Boston Bruin Wayne Cashman, who last played during the 1983 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The last active goalie from the Original Six era was Rogatien Vachon, who retired in 1982 with Boston. Wayne Cashman (born June 24, 1945) is a Canadian NHL coach and former player. ... A playoff in sports (North American professional sports in particular) is a game or series of games played after the regular season is over with the goal of determining a league champion. ... Rogie Vachon (September 8, 1945 in Palmorolle, Quebec) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goalie who played for the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League. ...


Criticisms

Some criticize the era as having a playoff system which was too easy (only two teams were eliminated after the regular season) and featuring too many dominant teams (Montreal never missed the playoffs between 1949 and 1967 and Detroit and Toronto only missed three times each, leaving the other three teams to compete for the one remaining berth). A playoff in sports (North American professional sports in particular) is a game or series of games played after the regular season is over with the goal of determining a league champion, or a similar accolade. ... The regular season is a term used, primarily, in North American sports. ...


Beyond that, rosters were very static—until the burgeoning of career lengths in the 1980s, only one twenty-year player in NHL history, Larry Robinson, started his career after 1964, and it is generally accepted that the weakest Calder Trophy winners of all time were selected in the 1950s and 1960s.[citation needed] In partial consequence, the league was almost entirely composed of Canadians who had come up through the junior and minor pro leagues. American, European, and college players were all but unknown. For U.S. basketball player, see Larry Robinson (basketball). ... Calder Memorial Trophy on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame The Calder Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the best rookie in the National Hockey League. ...


After World War II, all six NHL owners consistently rejected any bids for expansion, and in the eyes of many observers changed the criteria for entry every time with a bent to defeating any such bid. They also reneged on promises to allow the still-extant Maroons and Americans to rejoin the league. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The word Maroon can have the following meanings: Maroon is a color mixture composed of brown and purple. ...


Corruption

While many books on the period focus on the high level of play, giving it glowing terms such as 'golden era', it was also a period of corruption, where teams were found to be 'scalping' their own tickets and hiding ticket sales for the purposes of avoiding taxes on the proceeds.


The league tolerated monopolistic practices by the owners. At one point, for instance, Red Wings owner James E. Norris effectively owned the Black Hawks as well, and was also the largest stockholder in the Rangers. He also had significant influence over the Bruins by way of mortgages extended to the team to help keep it afloat during the Depression. Players who got on the wrong side of their team owner were often harshly punished for their actions. A chief example of this can be seen in the case of bruising Red Wings forward Ted Lindsay who, after agitating for a players' union, was sent to the last-place Black Hawks. Mr. Norris' conglomerate did not invest in Boston, Chicago and New York; these teams mostly just filled dates for the Norris arenas. A measure of the dominance of Detroit, Montreal and Toronto in the era can be seen in that between the Bruins' Stanley Cup wins in 1941 and 1970, every single Cup (save for Chicago in 1961) was won by the Red Wings, the Canadiens or the Maple Leafs, and those three teams failed to make the playoffs only eight times combined in the era. This article is about the economic term. ... James E. Norris (December 10, 1879 – December 4, 1952) was a Canadian-American businessman, operating companies in the grain and cattle industries, and owner of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. ... Robert Blake Theodore Ted Lindsay (born July 29, 1925, in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada) is a former professional ice hockey forward who played for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. ...


Labour conditions for the players were also poor. Players' medical bills were paid only until two months after an injury. Players were routinely demoted to the minor leagues as a form of punishment. This hurt the players by reducing their salaries, and players' relocation costs were not covered. The players were not paid for off-season promotions, or shared in the funds of promotions such as trading cards, such as was done in baseball. In the earlier era, players were allowed to play other sports, such as lacrosse, for money in the off-season. This was disallowed in the standard contract.


The pension plan, formed in 1946, while ostensibly for the players' benefit, was kept secret, hiding large amounts of money under the control of the owners. The pension plan was only exposed in 1989 where it was found that a $25 million dollar surplus existed. The labour conditions lead to several players' disputes including a 1957 anti-trust action and attempted union formation, and subsequent actions in the early 1960s by Bob Baun and Carl Brewer, leading to the 1967 formation of the NHL Players Association. Bobby Baun was born on the 9th of September, 1936 in Lanigan, Saskatchewan, Canada. ... Carl Thomas Brewer (born October 21, 1938 in Toronto, Ontario - died August 25, 2001 in Toronto, Ontario) was a Canadian ice hockey defenceman. ... The National Hockey League Players Association or NHLPA is a labour union that represents the interests of the hockey players in the National Hockey League of North America. ...


See also

The National Hockey League added six new franchises for the 1967-68 NHL season, doubling the size of the league. ...

References

  • Cruise, David and Griffiths, Alison (1990). Net Worth:Exposing the Myths of Pro Hockey. Stoddart Publishing. 

  Results from FactBites:
 
Original NHL teams are deep-sixed (775 words)
"Original Six" actually is a misnomer, because only the two Canadian teams were charter members of the NHL, but all six date to its first decade, and they comprised the entire league for 25 years, from 1942-1967.
But it's naïve to think the NHL wouldn't be thrilled if the Original Six teams, especially those in the States, consistently made deep playoff runs.
But despite the other five teams' recent woes, those who have played for Original Six teams say the aura of those franchises still is strong.
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Original Six teams that have relocated or gone defunct since expansion.
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