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Original Six

I was looking at the Hawks upcoming schedule for this season. My usual checking out what “must see” games are out there before single game tickets go on sale. Every year when I do this, the same thought comes to mind. Why can’t the Original 6 teams play each other at least once during every season? The Original 6 teams, for “all you young hockey players out there” (thanks Edzo) are, the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Would it be that hard to arrange the schedule every year to do so?

This year the Hawks will play the Bruins, matching up the last two Stanley Cup champions. This is another “must schedule” move that should be done yearly, but that’s another matter. As a matter of fact, the Cup has been won by an Original 6 team, 3 of the last 4 years. (Detroit a few cups back) The Hawks will play the Canadiens this year also. Being in the same division as the Wings, there are the usual games scheduled. But that’s it.

The Hawks /Wings rivalry (which according to my Detroit friend Ryan only exists in my mind) may be in danger of ending soon. With the Atlanta franchise moving to Winnipeg, (Eastern Conference team moving out west-and north, for the idiots who would correct me if I didn’t print it) there’s talk of realigning the Conferences. Moving Detroit to the East - the only Western team in the Eastern time zone, I believe, has been talked about. This would make playing other Original Six teams games even more rare.

I know times change, and nothing ever stays the same, but can ya throw be this bone, Commissioner?  Or next time a stadium full of people boo you, I won’t feel bad for you.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vince Maranto, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

tkfergy's avatar

Columbus is also a western team in the Eastern time zone

Posted by tkfergy on 07/26/11 at 02:06 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I know it would never happend for labor reasons etc.  but I’ve always thought a yearly original six tournament in the summer or something would be an awesome tribute to the NHL’s oldest fanbases.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/26/11 at 02:10 PM ET

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Every team plays every other team in the NHL at least once.  Every Original 6 team visits the United Center this year.

Toronto @ Chicago WED FEB 29 7 PM
NYR @ Chicago FRI MAR 9 7:30 PM

Posted by Andrew from Chicago on 07/26/11 at 02:11 PM ET

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Andrew, You’re right!! I didn’t notice that my schedule only printed out until mid February. I’m gonna hear it from every one on this one… Goo call.

Posted by Vince Maranto on 07/26/11 at 02:29 PM ET

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It was nice of the NHL to read my blog and immediately fix the problem!!! Give me a mulligan on this one kids, or call me a MORON. I am accepting both.

Posted by Vince Maranto from Algonquin, IL on 07/26/11 at 02:48 PM ET

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Original Six is nothing but a marketing sceme. The original six are not the original franchises, only the Canadiens of the six are an original NHL team.  Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators and a no nickname Toronto team are the original NHL teams. NHL teams have come and gone through the years the so-called Original Six came about in the 1940s. The Ottawa Senators have more history than most of the Original Six.

Posted by Puckbubba from FL. on 07/26/11 at 03:16 PM ET

pwnicholson's avatar

Aside from Puckbubba’s comment about the original Six being bunk (which I agree with), and aside from your being corrected already about this year’s schedule…

I’ll also point out that numerous people in the league office and around the league have basically certified that after realignment next year, all teams will play home and away with everyone going forward. So…non-issue.

Posted by pwnicholson from Nashville, TN on 07/26/11 at 03:41 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I’m so tired of all the “Original Six” stuff.

I’m a fan of an Original Six team and have to admit I could care less about it or them.  Just because a team is one of the Original Six means nothing in today’s game.

Posted by Primis on 07/26/11 at 03:53 PM ET

Curley's avatar

No offense Original Six fans, but in this day and age who cares?  The history is awesome but original six teams are no more interesting than any other team now. The fans want to see close games and great players…....that’s what today’s fans seek.

Posted by Curley on 07/26/11 at 04:02 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Are you people kidding me?  If the Original Six doesn’t mean anything, its because isn’t cultivated properly.  All the classic rivalries… names like Howe, Richard, Mikita, Geoffrion, Sawchuk, Beliveau… just to name a few.  The only sport with a richer history is baseball.  I think any Original Six talk is great, and I’m pumped as hell to see that the Wings might have a steady diet of Canadiens and Maple Leafs in the near future.  Most non-hockey fans tend to see hockey as a non-sport or side show.  Maybe if the league did a better job of showing how hockey has been around since the 1800’s, and that its teams have been around longer than the entire NFL more people would consider it a first tier sport.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/26/11 at 04:42 PM ET

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NHL marketing and Original Six ideology is just marketing, agreed. But the idea that the Senators have more history is preposterous because they were non-existent for so long. Come on. You cannot use logic and then ignore reality. It does not work that way. The long history of hockey is great. Stories about continental train rides, dog sleds, and the ranger position are a lot of fun but have no bearing on the modern game. Look at the Winnipeg Jet 2.0 .... they don’t even own the history of their name because they are TWO DISTINCT FRANCHISES. Enjoy the game, spend your money wisely.

Posted by Shaun1 from Toronto on 07/26/11 at 04:46 PM ET

perfection's avatar

hmmmm… well, i for one still love the original 6. it’s the symbolic counterweight to Bettman’s sunbelt revolution as well as the postmodern Disney Ducks and San Jose Token-Teal team (which seemed to happen in every major sport at right around the same time Charlotte Hornets(‘89), San Jose Sharks (‘91), Florida Marlins (‘93), Carolina Panthers(‘93), etc.). All it takes is watching games live in any original 6 stadium and the banners alone make you feel the difference between these teams and the rest. Perhaps it’s a bit of a marketing ploy, perhaps it doesn’t have the weight it once did in terms of competition (I mean, will the Maple Leafs EVER be good again??), but it still has a romantic appeal that I can’t ignore. The original 6 teams have the best jerseys, logos, and even announcers (most of them…). Watch one Nashville broadcast and tell me there’s no difference.

The Hawks /Wings rivalry (which according to my Detroit friend Ryan only exists in my mind)

and in the minds of the fans of 28 other teams who fancy themselves Wings slayers…

now if the Hawks had somehow actually gotten Pronger instead of Carcillo, maybe we’d have ourselves a genuine rivalry. it takes a little hate to create a real rivalry and while everyone seems to hate the Wings (except opposing owners who I’m sure like the attendance draw they bring), the Wings and their fans only hate a few players and a few teams at any given time. and frankly, it’s hard to hate a team with both Scotty Bowman on the payroll and a captain, Toews, who idolizes Steve Yzerman. but that’s just my opinion. As a Chicago resident though, I must say that I DO genuinely and passionately hate the fair weather Hawks fans that came out of the woodwork once the team got good…. I hate them a lot. Go back to Wrigleyville, please… every last one of you.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/26/11 at 04:49 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

and in the minds of the fans of 28 other teams who fancy themselves Wings slayers…

*cough cough.. Columbus… cough cough… Nashville**

I’m with you man.  The Original Six are the best, I’ll take em over your expansion franchises any day of the week.

As for some other comments, yes, yes, we’ve all heard about the Ottawa Silver Seven, the Montreal Maroons, I think I’ve even heard of a team in Pittsburgh way back when (long before the Penguins).  The thing is many of those teams were gone or didn’t last once the NHL organized.  The Original Six were the first NHL teams (that still exist), not the first hockey teams necessarily.  There really isn’t any link to the senators of days gone by and the modern team at all.

It really doesn’t matter anyway, none of these arguments take away from the great history and traditions of the Original Six franchises.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/26/11 at 05:22 PM ET

Curley's avatar

Original 6?  Excuse me while I yawn….......Wings fans are getting just as cocky as Leafs fans and that’s hard to match.  Your “little brothers” are looking forward to the Central Division tilts this year.  Yeah, Commodore is exactly what you need at your blueline.  White and Commie for Rafalski?  ‘Bout those Wolverines?

Posted by Curley on 07/26/11 at 05:31 PM ET

perfection's avatar

of course you yawn at the original 6… you only just heard about the game hockey in 2000 when Ohio got both an NHL team AND television

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/26/11 at 06:00 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Original 6?  Excuse me while I yawn

‘Bout those Wolverines?

Posted by Curley on 07/26/11 at 04:31 PM ET

Original 6, can you even name them?

As far as the Wolverines go, I have 4 more words for you.

Jim Tressel. Epic Fail.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 07/26/11 at 06:02 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Are you people kidding me?  If the Original Six doesn’t mean anything, its because isn’t cultivated properly.  All the classic rivalries… names like Howe, Richard, Mikita, Geoffrion, Sawchuk, Beliveau… just to name a few.

Posted by bezukov from Wings Fan in exile: Columbus, OH on 07/26/11 at 03:42 PM ET

The only ones that mean anything anymore are the ones between two good teams.

IF you go to a hockey game in 2011 and think that Habs-Wings from the 50’s means anything to today’s Habs-Wings game, you’re quite gullible.  That’s not to say there isn’t any great history between the two, but it means NOTHING today.

Time marches on people, get over it.

Posted by Primis on 07/26/11 at 06:46 PM ET

perfection's avatar

while I’m neither old nor that sentimental… I can’t really believe you think that history “means nothing”? Those players and teams are the reason there ARE Habs-Wings games today. While it’s true that “time marches on”, it’s also true that every moment is the sum of every previous moment (it’s history). It’s always relevant. If you choose to ignore history’s place in today’s game and watch through a prism, that’s fine, but realize that pretending history means nothing can be pretty dangerous way of thinking outside of the sports world.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/26/11 at 07:17 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Original 6?  Excuse me while I yawn….......Wings fans are getting just as cocky as Leafs fans and that’s hard to match.  Your “little brothers” are looking forward to the Central Division tilts this year…  ‘Bout those Wolverines?

Posted by Curley on 07/26/11 at 04:31 PM ET

Well if making the playoffs once in team history is excitement… excuse me while I yawn.

Its so annoying that the CBJ need to bring up the OSU/Michigan rivalry in order to actually make Wings/Jackets games interesting.  So when are you guys gonna go out and get a real rivalry?  I mean using a college football rivalry with close to no relevance to hockey in order to contrive a rivalry is cute and all, but well, I guess the CBJ’s ticket sales speaks for itself.

Yeah, Commodore is exactly what you need at your blueline.  White and Commie for Rafalski? 

I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say those guys can fill Rafalski’s shoes, but go ahead and tell me Columbus’ blue line wouldn’t get better with Ian White on it.  As for Commodore, the shoe is on the other foot now.  The Jackets needed him more than he needed them, not the case in Detroit.  Commodore has to know this is his last stop in the pros and to put up or shut up.  If he doesn’t he’ll be playing for beer again.

Posted by Primis on 07/26/11 at 05:46 PM ET

I see you’re point and mostly I agree with you game to game.  But you cannot convince me that the jersey players have on (and the history that comes with it) when they step on the ice means absolutely nothing.  If you asked the average player before they get into the NHL which teams they’d most like to play for, the original franchises would be near the top.  Would it mean nothing to you if you had the opportunity to go down in the history of an Original Six franchise?  It wouldn’t to me.  It didn’t sound like being a part of Red Wing lore meant nothing to Kris Draper earlier today.  It sure doesn’t mean nothing to the fans either.

I know its an exaggerated example, but as an analogy your reasoning is like saying Schembecler and Hayes mean absolutely nothing at OSU/Michigan football games.

But who needs to disagree?.. LGRW.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/26/11 at 07:52 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

‘Bout those Wolverines?

I hate it when people bring other sports into hockey discussions.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 07/26/11 at 08:26 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from Lidstrom’s head telling him 1 more year on 07/26/11 at 07:26 PM ET

Ditto.  But in his defense, its the only card CBJ fans have to play.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/26/11 at 08:54 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Wings fans are getting just as cocky as Leafs fans and that’s hard to match.

We’re actually cockier than Leafs fans and for good reason.

I get more excited to see the Red Wings play the Canadiens than I do to see them matched up against the Blue Jackets.

Not sure if that has more to do with original six or the fact that the Blue Jackets have been terrible for so long.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/26/11 at 09:12 PM ET

Curley's avatar

Ah Wings fans!!  But 2011-12 is a new season, EH?  While the CBJ has added seemingly a lot of new talent and a restructured team, God’s Gift to The Hockey World (Wings) have done zip and probably regressed. Nice job, Holland.  CU this season.  It’ll be much different…....... tongue wink

Posted by Curley on 07/26/11 at 10:17 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

While the CBJ has added seemingly a lot of new talent and a restructured team, God’s Gift to The Hockey World (Wings) have done zip and probably regressed. Nice job, Holland.  CU this season.  It’ll be much different….......

The good news is that starting out from the top of the division means you don’t have to make a ton of moves.

The Jackets are still shallow up front and have the 2nd least-frightening goaltending/defensive corps in the Central. 

But hey, at least they’ll have an outside shot at a third-place finish in the Central and a playoff berth.  Maybe this time they can win a postseason game, huh?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/26/11 at 10:54 PM ET

Avatar

I get more excited to see the Red Wings play the Canadiens than I do to see them matched up against the Blue Jackets.

Funny I get more excited watching SJ play Vancouver or Washington vs Philadelphia or Pittsburgh vs either Philly or Washington than that match up!

Posted by timbits on 07/26/11 at 10:58 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Let’s do this blow by blow…

Ah Wings fans!!  But 2011-12 is a new season, EH?

Ah Jackets fans, its been ten years, but its still like you’ve been watching hockey for two hours.  Yes, another season where the CBJ will get off to a hot start.  A hot start when all the CBJ fans I know will be telling me how great the Jackets are doing in the standings (even though twenty games haven’t even been played), only to be out of the playoff hunt by February.

While the CBJ has added seemingly a lot of new talent and a restructured team, ...

Jeff Carter and maybe Vinny Prospal were the only big advances the CBJ made to their roster.  Wisniewski has never scored more than thirty points in a season.  With Huselius now out for who knows how long, the CBJ haven’t gotten that much better.

God’s Gift to The Hockey World (Wings)...

Well finally one of you is acknowledging us for who we are.

Nice job, Holland.  CU this season.  It’ll be much different….......

I wouldn’t go criticizing other teams’ GM’s as long as Fedor Tyutin/Marc Methot and James Wisniewski are the CBJ’s first defensive pairing… yeah… I’m looking forward to “those Central Division “tilts”” too.

Let’s try and not forget either about your forgettable goaltending tandem.  Maybe if Steve Mason ever grows out his emo phase the CBJ could be competitive, but I’m sure Marc Dekanich will fill in aptly if Mason falters.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/27/11 at 12:02 AM ET

Curley's avatar

@ Bezukov:  You may want to check your stats. Wiz had 51 points last season placing him in the top 7 I believe in Pts/Defenseman.  Also Tyutin and Methot both played for their respective countries in the WC so someone likes them.  As for the overall team criticism…....EVERY team in the league has weaknesses and question marks. Your D is decidedly weaker and your graybeard star forwards are a year older and are surrounded by a real dearth of talent. Your team relies heavily on Jimmy Howard and he’ll be under assault this year with your new “D”.  Wings PP takes a step back without Rafalski so all is not rosy in “Hockeytown”, either.

Posted by Curley on 07/27/11 at 08:27 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

You may want to check your stats. Wiz had 51 points last season placing him in the top 7 I believe in Pts/Defenseman.

Well I’ll concede that point good sir.  I was just looking at his stats with the Habs, didn’t look at his totals with the NYI.  That still makes for only one season above thirty points, so lets not get carried away.

Also Tyutin and Methot both played for their respective countries in the WC so someone likes them.

The world championship was played from April 29- May 15, when a lot of competitive hockey teams/good players were still playing.  Not to mention the scoring leader of that tournament was Jarko Immonen, who has played all of 20 games in the NHL (four years ago), followed by Patrik Berglund, so lets not go acting like the talent level was all that high in that tournament. 

As for the overall team criticism…....EVERY team in the league has weaknesses and question marks.

Yeah, some more than others, right?

Your D is decidedly weaker and your graybeard star forwards are a year older and are surrounded by a real dearth of talent.

Right… because the CBJ have an embarrassment of riches in any position on the ice.  Remember that old saying about people who live in glass houses? 

The CBJ’s best talent, Ricky boy, is a second tier talent, for all of his goal scoring.  I don’t care how many goals Rick Nash had last year, or the years before that, because just like Kovalchuck all those years in Atlanta, when you’re a loser, and you’re not a leader, and you don’t make the people around you better (or expect anything out of them, Captain Rick), you can score as many goals as you want and it won’t amount to a hill of beans. 

I’ll take Datsyuk, Franzen, and Zetterberg over the CBJ forwards any day of the week, and you won’t find a GM who’d disagree with me, greybeard or not.  Anyone would take a couple older guys who actually work hard at practice, workouts, and games over a younger dude who won’t put down his Xbox controller.  I’ll take the Wings current defensive roster too.  I’ll take Howard/Conlkin over Mason/Dekanich too.

As for the age issue, I see plenty of oldsters on the CBJ roster also.  Furthermore, most of your team’s young guys wouldn’t make the roster on a competitive team.  The Wings have been called too old since the nineties, and they’ve won two Stanley Cups since then.  So really the age argument is a non-starter.

Your team relies heavily on Jimmy Howard and he’ll be under assault this year with your new “D”.  Wings PP takes a step back without Rafalski so all is not rosy in “Hockeytown”, either.

I don’t really disagree that the Wings defense is weaker offensively.  Defensively is yet to be seen.  Rafalski was pretty bad last year.  Maybe Ericsson will finally grow a pair (probably not because he just got a new contract), who knows.  I wouldn’t say its “decidedly” in either direction at this point.  The powerplay was pretty bad last year too, with or without Rafalski.  I don’t think that much has changed for the Wings.  Its true things could get worse, but I don’t think its likely. 

All that said, I think the Jackets are gonna be better for sure, but they’re not going to be competitive against Chicago or “Hockeytown” in the standings.  Thats just a pipe dream.

But its time to stop… I can’t escape the feeling that I’m allowing myself to be antagonized.  You’re worthy in the debate sir.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/27/11 at 12:51 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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