The number of NHL teams seems to be growing every few years. But in the NHL's golden era, there were six original NHL teams. These six teams battled each other for over twenty years until expansion was announced in 1969. Here is a look at the original six NHL teams.
- Montreal Canadiens. The Montreal Canadiens started out in the NHL as one of the league's original NHL teams in 1917. Throughout its history, the Canadiens have seen other NHL teams come and go such as the Wanderers and Maroons. As of 2011, the Canadiens are one of the most successful NHL teams in league history winning a total of 25 Stanley Cup championships.
- Boston Bruins. The Boston Bruins started out in 1924, and have maintained the same name their entire history. Up to the 2011 season, the Bruins have won five Stanley Cup championships.
- Chicago Blackhawks. The Chicago Blackhawks started out as the Chicago Black Hawks in 1926, and then made their nickname all one word in the 1990's to become the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks have won four Stanely Cup championships, which includes their 2009-2010 championship season.
- Detroit Red Wings. The Detroit Red Wings started in 1926 as the Detroit Cougars. They became the Falcons in 1931, and then settled on the Red Wings in 1932. The Red Wings are one of the more successful NHL teams based in the United States as they have won 11 Stanley Cup championships, with their last championship coming at the end of the 2007-2008 season.
- New York Rangers. The New York Rangers started in 1926, and have been the toast of Manhattan ever since. The team has won the Stanley Cup four times, with their last win being an emotional one at the end of the 1993-1994 season.
- Toronto Maple Leafs. The only original six team that could compete with the Montreal Canadiens in terms of popularity is the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs started out as the Arenas in the inaugural 1917 NHL season. They changed their name to the St. Patricks in 1919, and then to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1927. As of 2011, the Leafs remain the original six team with the longest Stanely Cup drought as they have not won the big prize since their 13th Stanley Cup championship in 1967.