1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Who Are the "Original Six"?


Walt Tkaczuk & Keith Magnuson
Melchior DiGiacomo/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Question: Who Are the "Original Six"?

The Original Six are the six teams that comprised the NHL from 1942 to 1967, when the league expanded from six to 12 teams.

The name is not accurate. NHL membership fluctuated througout the 1920s and 1930s, as teams like the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Maroons and New York Americans came and went in the years prior to 1942.

The Original Six label appears to have gained currency with the league's expansion in 1967 and the years following.

The "Original Six" are:

  • Montreal Canadiens (founded in 1909)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs (founded in 1917 as the Toronto Arenas)
  • Boston Bruins (founded in 1924)
  • New York Rangers (founded in 1925)
  • Detroit Red Wings (founded in 1921 as the Detroit Cougars)
  • Chicago Blackhawks (founded in 1926)
  • ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.