Power Ranking NHL Original Six by legacy

The NHL is the one major sports league that values history over the current product. The Original Six is a perfect example of that. Which of those teams leads the legacy Power Rankings?

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs / Graig Abel/GettyImages
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The NHL has an incredible history. Outside of maybe Major League Baseball, there is no North American sport with the history of the NHL. Just look at the awards given out. The Stanley Cup is named after the man who donated the Cup in 1892. The Norris Trophy is named after James E. Norris, who owned the Detroit Red Wings from 1932 to 1952. The MVP trophy is named after Dr. David A. Hart, who donated the trophy over 100 years ago. Hockey loves its history.

And it should. There is so much history to celebrate. From Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr to Maurice Richard and Guy Lafleur to Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux to Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, each generation had amazing players that we can't stop talking about, even today. However, when you talk about the league's history, the difference between other leagues is the league was minute compared to the others until 1967.

That is when the "Original Six" era ended. Before then, the league consisted of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, and New York Rangers. These teams have the longest legacies in the league, but not all of them have great legacies. The league did once have ten teams, but during the Great Depression, the league was forced to contract. In 1942, when the New York Americans officially closed shop due to the constraints of World War II, the league was left with six teams.

These teams represent some of the biggest markets in the sport, but it hasn't always (actually, rarely ever) led to a ton of recent championships. Over the last 40 years, the Original Six have won 11 championships. It doesn't spell the dominance they once had on the league, but their legacies are vastly different. Who was the worst of the six, and who was best?

5. Chicago Blackhawks
Championship seasons: 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015

The Chicago Blackhawks being so low on this list will surprise many readers, but the recent dynasty shouldn't let you ignore decades of mismanagement and disappointment. Over their history, the Blackhawks have a losing record, with only seven franchises sitting with a worse one all time (which is bad when you consider how bad some of these expansion teams were).

The Blackhawks joined the league in 1926 when Chicago businessman Frederick McLaughlin bought the defunct Portland Rosebuds and used their foundation to create what was then the Black Hawks. Even when they won, it came with some asterisks. Of course, there's everything surrounding the 2010 Stanley Cup. Then, in a completely different situation, the team won the 1938 Cup despite going 14-25 in the regular season.

From 1947 to 1957, the Blackhawks finished at the bottom of the NHL standings nine times. They went to the Cup Finals once between 1939 and 1960 despite there being six teams in the league. They couldn't be one of the top two of six for 21 years outside of one time.

The Blackhawks had some great players, with the 60s led by Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Glen Hall, and Tony Esposito. That run led to one Stanley Cup in 1961, but that led to an insane drought. The Blackhawks made it to the Cup Final five times between 1962 and 2009, and they lost every single series. They finally got over the hump in 2010, winning three Cups in six years thanks to the efforts of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Today, the Blackhawks are awful again, but they have their savior Connor Bedard on the roster. They could get another number-one overall pick this season, where they would take Macklin Celebrini. If they do get those two players, it could lead to another dynasty one day.