Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by Alex PT
The Original Six NHL teams, which dominated the league from 1942 to 1967, are the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Original Six (Overview Of Each Team)
1. Montreal Canadiens 1917
In 1909, Montreal Canadiens 1917 was founded as part of the National Hockey Association. The Original Arena of the team is Mount Royal Arena. They’ve made 84 appearances in the NHL Playoffs, winning a staggering 23 Stanley Cups. This team has 55 halls of farmers. To be honest, no one can doubt the fact that Montreal is the gold dogma of NHL hockey teams.
You can’t possibly say anything about the NHL without acknowledging this team. Don’t forget Montreal is where the NHL was invented, and founded. The Montreal Canadiens had the most-winning franchise of all time, the most traditional, and, probably, the most passionate fans in hockey.
Franchise Scoring Leaders: All-time Assists: Guy Lafleur, 1246; All-time Goals: Maurice Richard, 544; and Guy Lafleur (77-78), 60; Single-Season Assists, Guy Lafleur, 136 (76-77); Single season Goals: Steve Shutt (76-77).
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs was founded in 1917, and Arena Gardens is its Original Arena. This team has won the Stanley Cups 13 times after appearing in the NHL playoffs 69 times. If you’re talking about the NHL teams with the most fans, then Toronto Maple Leafs should come first. They dominate the headlines on the sports stations even though they are one of seven teams in Canada. Unfortunately, the Leafs haven’t been able to win the Stanley Cup for a while now, and they remained the only team in the NHL with the longest Stanley Cup drought at 53 years.
Franchise Scoring Leaders: All All-time Assists: Mats Sundin, 987; Single season Goals: Rick Vaive, 54 (1981-82); Single-Season Assists, Doug Gilmour (1992-93), 127; All-time Goals: Mats Sundin, 420.
3. Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins was founded in 1924 and its original arena is Boston Arena. With 73 appearances in the NHL playoffs, this team has managed to win 6 Stanley Cups. The Boston Bruins were the first American team in the NHL, and their first NHL game was played in the United States in December 1924. The game ended in their favor as they beat the Montreal Maroons 2-1.
Franchise Scoring Leaders: Single-Season Assists, Phil Esposito, 152 (70-71); All-time Assists: Ray Bourque, 1506; Single-season Goals: Phil Esposito, 76 (70-71); All-time Goals: Johnny Bucyk, 545.
4. New York Rangers
The New York Rangers is an NHL team founded in 1926, and its original arena is Madison Square Garden. This team has successfully won 4 Stanley Cups, after having 60 appearances in the NHL playoffs. With 53 hall of Famers and 8 retired numbers, the New York Rangers is also a classic NHL team. If you’re a foreign-born hockey player, you must have dreamt of playing for the New York Rangers. This team is known for being the best place for a number of college youngsters and free agents.
Franchise Scoring Leaders: All-time Assists: Rod Gilbert, 1021; All-time Goals: Rod Gilbert, 406; Single-Season Assists, Jaromir Jagr, 123 (05-06); Single season Goals: Jaromir Jagr 54, (05-06).
5. Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks is a hockey team in the NHL. It was founded in 1926, and its original arena is the Chicago Coliseum. This team has appeared in the NHL playoffs 63rd times with only 6 Stanley Cups. With 40 halls of farmers and only 7 retired numbers, the Chicago Blackhawks is only of the classic teams in the NHL. In this present century, this team remains the most successful among the Original Six. On the core of a Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith dynasty, the Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups. If you’re talking about teams with the most intimidating arenas to play in for opposing teams, then the Blackhawks should come first. The supporters/fans give the Hawks a huge momentum push at the start of the game by cheering and singing the national anthem while on their feet at the old Chicago Stadium.
Franchise Scoring Leaders: Most Points, Season: Denis Savard, 131 (87-88); Most Goals, Season: Bobby Hull, 58 (68-69); Goals Leader: Bobby Hull, 604; Points Leader: Stan Mikita 1467;
6. Detroit Red Wings
This team was founded in 1926 when it was previously known as Detroit Cougar until 1930. It went on to have some name changes; Detroit Falcons (1930-1932) and Detroit Red Wings (1932-Present). The Original Arena is Olympia Stadium, and they’ve got 11 Stanley Cups. Detroit Red Wings have made 64 appearances at the NHL playoff. Also, they’ve got 65 halls of farmers.
Franchise Scoring Leaders: All-time Assists: Gordie Howe, 1809, Single-Season Assists: Steve Yzerman, 155 (88-89), All-time Goals: Gordie Howe, 786, Single season Goals: Steve Yzerman, 65 (88-89).
When did the Original Six end?
The Original Six era in the National Hockey League (NHL) came to an end in 1967 when the league underwent a significant expansion. Here are the details of how and when the Original Six era ended:
- Expansion Announced: In the mid-1960s, the NHL’s leadership recognized the need for expansion to accommodate the growing interest in hockey, particularly in the United States. The existing six teams (Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, and New York Rangers) had established a strong foundation for the league, but there was a desire to broaden its reach.
- New Franchises Added: On February 9, 1966, the NHL announced plans to expand by adding six new teams. This expansion was seen as a pivotal moment in the league’s history, marking the end of the Original Six era. The new franchises introduced were the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars (now Dallas Stars), St. Louis Blues, and the California Seals (now the New Jersey Devils).
- Balancing the League: The expansion was intended to create a more balanced league, geographically and competitively. It allowed the NHL to tap into new markets, particularly in the United States, where hockey was gaining popularity. These new teams introduced fresh rivalries and contributed to the league’s growth.
- 1967-68 Season: The 1967-68 NHL season was the first season in which the expanded league operated. It marked the official end of the Original Six era and the beginning of a new chapter in the NHL’s history. With 12 teams, the league had doubled in size, and the dynamics of the sport were forever changed.
- Legacy: The Original Six era remains a cherished and iconic period in NHL history, known for its storied franchises, legendary players, and the foundation of the league’s traditions. The expansion in 1967 marked a turning point, ushering in a more diverse and competitive league while preserving the rich history of the Original Six teams.
History of the National Hockey League (1942–1967)
The period from 1942 to 1967 marked a significant chapter in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL). This era was defined by expansion, the emergence of legendary players, and the end of the Original Six era.
- Expansion and the ‘Original Six’: Prior to 1967, the NHL consisted of six teams, often referred to as the ‘Original Six.’ These teams were the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, and New York Rangers. The league was limited in its geographical reach.
- Post-World War II Growth: Following World War II, the NHL saw significant growth in both its fan base and player talent. Returning veterans bolstered teams, and interest in the sport began to surge.
- The Richard Riot (1955): In 1955, a landmark event known as the “Richard Riot” occurred. Montreal Canadiens star Maurice “Rocket” Richard received a suspension, leading to a fan protest that turned into a full-blown riot. This event reflected the immense passion and fervor of hockey fans in Canada.
- Emergence of Iconic Players: The post-war era witnessed the rise of legendary players, including Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Jean Beliveau, and Bobby Orr. These players left an indelible mark on the sport and became hockey icons.
- Expansion in 1967: One of the most significant changes occurred in 1967 when the NHL expanded from six to twelve teams. The expansion franchises were the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars (now Dallas Stars), St. Louis Blues, and the California Seals (now the New Jersey Devils). This expansion was a response to the growing popularity of hockey in the United States and the desire to create a more balanced and geographically diverse league.
- Expansion in Canada: The NHL’s expansion was not limited to the United States. In 1970, the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres joined the league, further broadening its reach.
- Legacy of the Era: The period from 1942 to 1967 laid the foundation for the modern NHL. The expansion brought new markets, rivalries, and opportunities for players and fans. It marked a transformative phase in the league’s history.
Collectively, the Original 6 hockey teams have won 64 Stanley Cups since the creation of the NHL. Besides statistical achievements, these legendary teams have fired up the world of hockey in America and other countries in North America with their intense rivalries, rich histories, and legendary players. We’ve reached the final session of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good and reliable resources in your quest to know about the Original 6 hockey teams in the NHL. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!