Have the Original Six lived up to their expectations?

Die-hard NHL fans can instantly name the “original six.” The casual fan probably has no idea what this designation entails or the history behind the teams. History also proves that the original six deserve our credit and created a league of play that continues to be loved by millions.
Montreal Candiens v Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal Candiens v Toronto Maple Leafs / Graig Abel/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens started it all. Hockey, a beloved Canadian sport and pastime, flourished in Canada. The Canadiens played alongside the Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Arenas.

The Arenas became the Maple Leafs, and the Wanderers and Senators eventually folded.

Who were the original six?

The original six were the teams that started the current makeup of the NHL, and the ones that survived that led to the 1967 expansion to 12 teams.

The original six and their prospective Cup appearances and wins:

Montreal Canadiens: 33 appearances, 23 wins.
Toronto Maple Leafs: 21 appearances, 13 wins.
Boston Bruins: 20 appearances, 6 wins.
Chicago Blackhawks: 13 appearances, 6 wins.
Detroit Red Wings: 24 appearances, 11 wins.
New York Rangers: 11 appearances, 4 wins.

Hockey enthusiasts know the original six have earned respect and set the tone for hockey.

Of course, the argument is that the original six achieved substantial success because hockey didn’t expand until 1967. Despite that, all six teams have a significant legacy and are highly regarded franchises.

In terms of most Stanley Cup championships, only the New York Rangers fall out of the top six in NHL history, with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking that position tied with Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers.

The Original Six created the NHL atmosphere

Hockey succeeded with the original six and defied many odds.

Throughout its existence, the NHL has experienced both successful and challenging periods.

The original six set a standard focused on winning and fan loyalty.

Even today, all six teams continue to maintain a widespread following, and they boast some of the most dedicated and enthusiastic fans in professional sports.

Here's to looking at hockey in a whole new way and giving props to its iconic history.