Updated: May 7
During last week's Thanksgiving visit to my folks' place, I scoured the house for my old Ninja Turtles action figures. It's my son's latest obsession. Sadly, we never found any heroes in a halfshell – it seems they were purged in my parents' most recent move – but we did run across a stack of old portfolios and bins of art, including this promotional pin set I directed, given to New Jersey Devils' season ticket holders and anyone else who purchased the "Original Six" ticket plan, a promotion I concocted for the 2009-10 season.
The idea behind the plan was that there was a subset of hockey fans who were traditionalists, attracted to the idea of the so-called Original Six teams: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto and the New York Rangers. Until this promotion, the Devils hadn't ever included a Rangers game in a ticket plan because those games historically sold themselves. Dangling the carrot of an affordable game (I don't remember the actual cost of this six-pack) versus the team's staunchest rival was enticement for people to pick up the full plan, and the pin set put the deal over the top. It's been a decade, so I d0n't have the hard numbers, but we moved a fair amount of tickets through this endeavor, a unique way to market our match-ups and dive into NHL history.
I pulled archived logos for the six teams – 1928-29 Boston, 1937-38 Chicago, 1926-27 Detroit, 1915-16 Montreal, 1965-66 New York, 1933-34 Toronto – as a way to call out a bit of history of these franchises.
TANGENT: I'm one of those hockey traditionalists... to an extent. You'll never catch me complaining that Team X doesn't belong in the league because the city isn't cold enough. I roll my eyes at those kinds of fans. Nothing grows with a literally close-minded, borderline incestuous attitude like.
Truthfully, these specific logos were chosen exclusively because they were a departure from the standard brands fans recognize. Their corresponding years were merely coincidental to what we were hoping to accomplish. I can't remember if I came up with the light research accompanying the pin board, but our copywriter surely cleaned it up. I always felt our most important role in the marketing department was to be stewards of the game and it's history, so it was always a personal victory to be able to sneak some Hockey Ed. 101 into my work.
"The Montreal Canadiens were founded in 1909 and became a charter member of the National Hockey League, which was organized November 26, 1917.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were a charter member of the NHL originally known as the Toronto Arenas. The Arenas were renamed the St. Patricks in 1919-20, and finally the Maple Leafs in 1926-27.
Founded in 1924, the Boston Bruins were the first NHL franchise to be granted in the United States.
The New York Rangers franchise was granted on May 15, 1926. They became New York's second franchise, joining the Americans, who ceased operations following the 1941-42 season.
The Detroit Red Wings were founded as the Detroit Cougars on September 25, 1926. The franchise changed its named to Falcons in 1930-31 and became known as the Red Wings in 1932-33.
The Chicago Blackhawks franchise was granted on the same day as the Detroit Cougars. They were known as the "Black Hawks" during the Original Six Era, which spanned 25 years from 1942-43 until NHL expansion to 12 teams in 1967.