Title: The Original Six
Author: Lew Freedman
Publisher: Pajama Press
Review by Job Patstone
In his latest book, Lew Freedman brings forth the time when there were only six hockey teams in the National Hockey League.
In fact, the NHL was born from these six teams that were the highlights of the hockey world from 1917 until 1967, and all the trophies and awards that are won today by players from the now 30 teams all came to being during this six-pack league.
Anyone born after 1967 probably doesn’t realize that in the beginning only six teams competed for the Stanley Cup, people watched them on black and white TV, there were no instant replays, no accumulated statistics, and when most of the players (the best) were from Canada.
The book delves into the history of Les Canadiens, the Boston Bruins, the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the New York Rangers & all the great players that played for them.
Players like Maurice and Henri Richard, ‘Tiny’ Thompson, Jean Béliveau, Larry Robinson, Bobby Orr and all the others to whom the hockey world owes its success.
There are things I learned about hockey teams and their management, their finances and their hardships that I never imagined. Things like what happened to hockey during the two world wars and the results stemming from the outcomes, salaries and how they became so important, that there were ‘Kraut’ lines and ‘Uke’ lines consisting of German and Ukrainian players that would never be mentioned in our politically correct world of today.
I learned that there was not only one Howe (Gordie) who played for Detroit, but two (they weren’t even related) and that some players started playing hockey using horse dung as a puck.
Most of the players inducted into the Hockey hall of fame were from this era, and all deserving, considering most of them played without helmets or facemasks.
Severe injuries were common which forced the wearing of such protection to become the norm.
So if you’re wondering who wore and designed the first goalie facemask or where Don Cherry comes from, it’s all explained in a factual and historical manner in ‘The Original Six’.
Job Patstone, for Life in Quebec.
This book is available at Livres Trois Canons – the English Bookstore in Quebec City at Place Naviles.
LIVRES TROIS CANONS
3400-SS2, CHEMIN DES QUATRE-BOURGEOIS
QUÉBEC (QUÉBEC) G1W 2L3
Tel: (418) 204-4325
info @ livrestroiscanons .com
Quebec City English bookstore
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