DFHC 6/17-18/2011

The Original Others

Being an avid student of sports history, I see things in the longer view…so when I hear talk of the National Hockey League’s “Original Six,” I take that with a grain of salt, or maybe a whole packet. Yes, the Montreal-Toronto-Boston-NY-Chicago-Detroit sextet skated undisturbed for 25 seasons, 1942-1966…but the league was founded in 1917, so that’s another 25 seasons of what?, pre-original teams?

True, they didn’t have more than 4 teams until 1924, and teams from other pro leagues, and even independents, competed for the Stanley Cup until the NHL took sole possession of the bauble in 1926. But today, a brief survey of the Original Others

By far the most successful was the first Ottawa Senators, a team founded in 1883, and a charter member of the NHL in 1917, and if that isn’t Original, I don’t know what is. They won all 4 Cups they competed for in the 1920s, but the Depression took its toll…they relocated as the St. Louis Eagles in 1934, then folded.

Also legendary were the Montreal Maroons, who played in the Forum from 1924 thru 1938, winning 2 Stanley Cups. They were arguably more popular than the Canadiens, to the point where in 1936 the Habs were slated to be sold and moved to Cleveland, until 3 local businessmen stepped in and saved the franchise. Never heard that story before? Look it up, eh.

Considering ice hockey is Canada’s national sport, it shouldn’t surprise you the roots of the Quebec City’s Quebec Bulldogs go back to 1878. They participated in various precursor leagues, and began play in the NHL in 1919, altho they were inactive members in 1917 and 1918. The franchise was then revoked, with players and assets sold, and they reemerged as the Hamilton Tigers in 1920.

And on a slightly different subject, the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton team is named the Tiger-Cats because they resulted from the merger of 2 existing teams in 1950: the Tigers and the Wildcats…is there a Canadian version of Jeopardy?

A second revocation and sale in 1925 resulted in the NHL’s first foothold in the Big Apple, the New York Americans, or Amerks for short…the Rangers arrived in 1926. When the they finally folded after the 1941 season, still skating in Madison Square Garden, but now called the Brooklyn Americans, the 7 were reduced to the 6, and there you go…

Well, not quite. The Montreal Wanderers were charter NHL members in 1917, but wandered off after just 6 games, never to be heard from again. And the Pittsburgh Pirates joined up in 1925, becoming the the Philadelphia Quakers for 1930, then disbanding. The Pirates started as an amateur team called the Yellow Jackets, hence their logo and team colors.

And for the record, the Original Six were league-mates from 1926, when the New York Rangers, the Chicago Blackhawks, and Detroit Red Wings entered the league…altho the Wings were the Cougars thru 1929, and the Falcons in 1930 and 1931…but of course they did not have the league all to themselves until 1942. There. I’ve had my say.

shameless plugs,  and icing is called…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com  and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Other Daily blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com  (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at  http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com  and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com/p/resume.html

Audio samples coming soon…or just check the podcasts…twc-rr so still über-blows turbo…

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