Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's not snobbery, it's legacy.

The subject of the original six teams needing to meet each other more has been brought up a lot quite frequently by fans of all six. The infrequency of the meetings and the fact that original six teams often don't meet the others even once in a season have both been uniting issues amongst original six team fans.

Often, this subject is met with slurs and anger from fans of the other 24 teams. Most non-original six team fans seem to believe that the fans of the original six teams are snobs and think they are better than the other 24 teams. It's not that, I assure you. It's the simple fact that for a quarter century six teams were the only teams in the league before it grew to what it is today. Six. It's a history that can't be rewritten. The specialness of being fans of an original six team franchise is not lost on fans who don't remember the good old days.

Some of us were taught by our parents who were taught by their parents who remember the days of Olympia and the days when only six teams fought for Lord Stanley's cup. For 25 years, only six teams made up the NHL. Nine franchises haven't existed in the league as we know it as long as the NHL consisted of just six. Seven of the franchises have been relocated since the beginning of the NHL but none of those are members of the original six family.

Being a fan of an original six team franchise seems to lend some stability and consistency to investing in that team. No matter how good or bad of a season any of the original six teams are having, there are always people filling the seats. Yes, sometimes the seats aren't always full but they are fuller than most.

I can't speak for all the original six team franchises, but I will say that history is a huge part of what the Detroit Red Wings are. If you doubt that fact, just walk into the Gordie Howe entrance of Joe Louis Arena.

Upon entering the building you'll be met by three larger-than-life bronze statues of Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Alex Delvecchio.

If you're lucky, you'll be there on a night where one of the legends is in the concourse signing autographs which happens several times during the season.

As you make your way to your seat, look up. That's all you'll have to do to be reminded of the legends from the original six era.

And if you're truly lucky, you'll be there for a special occasion when the legends come out to celebrate the triumphs of the latest team.

It's not snobbery, it's a celebration of history and tradition.

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