JON: IN OCTOBER IN 1942, IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES, MUCH OF THE PUBLIC ATTENTION WAS FOCUSED ON THE WAR OVERSEAS. IN THE MIDST OF THE TURMOIL, THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE BEGAN ITS 26TH SEASON, USHERING IN A PERIOD BEHALF TURNED OUT TO BE A STRETCH OF REMARKABLE STABILITY. FOR THE NEXT 25 YEARS, THE LEAGUE WAS BUILT ON THE BACK OF AND CONSISTED OF JUST SIX TEAMS.>>YOU HAD TWO TEAMS IN CANADA. YOU HAD THE CANADIENS AND THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, AND THEN YOU HAD THE RANGERS AND THE BLACKHAWKS AND THE BRUINS AND THE RED WINGS IN THE UNITED STATES. YOU HAD 120 GUYS PLAYING IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE AT THAT TIME. JON: JUST THE NHL’S GOLDEN AGE, THERE WAS A REAL SENSE OF FAMILIARITY. A MEANINGFUL AND EMOTIONAL BOND BETWEEN TEAM AND COMMUNITY. AND THE PLAYERS THEY GREW CUSTOMED TO ROOTING FOR. BUT EVEN FOR THE GREAT ONES, WITH SO FEW JOBS DURING THE ORIGINAL SIX ERA, AMONG THE PLAYERS, THERE WAS AN UNDENIABLE TENSION.>>THESE GUYS PLAYED WITH INJURIES. ELMER LOCK ONCE HAD HIS FOOT SLASHED BY AN OPPONENT’S SKATE, AND IT SLASHED THROUGH THE LEATHER BOOT, AND HE’S SITTING ON THE BENCH, AND A TEAMMATE LOOKS DOWN AND SEES THE BLOOD POOLING ATHE HIS FEET, AND HE SAYS, WHAT’S WRONG? ELMER LOOKS DOWN AND SAYS, OH, NOTHING SERIOUS. WELL, IT WAS TWO SEVERED VEINS, AND ELMER IS PLAYING HOCKEY ON IT. THERE’S ALWAYS THE THOUGHT THAT IF YOU WERE TAKEN OUT FOR A GAME AND THE GUY WHO REPLACED YOU PLAYED WELL, IT WOULD TAKE SOMETHING PRETTY MIRACULOUS FOR YOU TO GET BACK IN THE LINEUP.>>IT WAS ROUGH AND TUMBLE HOCKEY. YOU HAD TO BE RUGGED TO PLAY IN THE NHL IN THE OLD DAYS. THE RIVALRIES WERE INTENSE. YOU PLAYED EACH TEAM 14 TIMES. AND THERE WAS NO FRIENDS ON THE ICE. THEY WERE ALL ENEMIES. CUTTING IN, I’D CUT YOU TO WIN.>>THEY COULDN’T LITERALLY BREATHE EACH OTHER THERE, AND JOHN FERGUSON WAS ONCE SITTING IN A RESTAURANT UP THE ROAD FROM A MAPLE LEAFS GARDEN WITH A TEAMMATE, AND EDDIE SHOCK WALKED IN, WALKED TO THE BACK OF THE RESTAURANT. FERGIE THREW A BUNCH OF MONEY ON THE TABLE AND SAID TO HIS TEAMMATE, LET’S GO. THE TEAMMATE SAID, WELL, THE FOOD HASN’T ARRIVED. AND HE SAID IF YOU THINK I’M GOING SIT AND EAT IN THE SAME RESTAURANT AS EDDIE SHACK, YOU’RE DREAMING. JON: IN JUST ABOUT EVERY WAY, BOTH ON AND OFF THE ICE, THE NHL OF THE 1940’S AND 1950’S WAS DECIDEDLY DIFFERENT THAN IT IS TODAY. ONE OF THE MORE STRIKING WAS THE WAY TEAMS TRAVELED BETWEEN CITIES, ON TRAINS, AVOIDING THE ENEMY WAS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.>>YOU WOULDN’T GO IN TO EAT WHEN THEY WENT IN, OR THEY WOULDN’T GO IN TO EAT WHEN YOU WENT IN. BECAUSE WE WERE ENEMIES.>>I’VE HEARD STORIES FROM SOME OF THE OLD TIMERS WHO WOULD TALK ABOUT STUMBLING INTO THE DINING CAR WHEN THEY THOUGHT IT WAS THEIR TIME AND THE OTHER TEAM WAS STILL IN THERE AND DISHES BEING THROWN AND PUNCHES BEING THROWN, AND INSULTS BEING EXCHANGED.>>THESE TEAMS WOULD BE GONE FOR TWO WEEKS, AND YOU CAN’T HELP BUT BECOME CLOSE TO YOUR TEAMMATES. THEY WOULD GO TO THE SMOKING CAR TOGETHER. THEY WOULD PLAY A LOT OF CARD GAMES.>>THOSE LENGTHY TRIPS, LIKE MONTREAL TO CHICAGO, WERE OVERNIGHT, AND THAT MEANT A DISTINCT PLAYER PROTOCOL FOR SLEEPING. ROOKIES ON TOP, VETS ON THE BOTTOM. FOR SOME, IT WAS DIFFICULT. FOR OTHERS, JUST PART OF THE CHARM.>>I NEVER SLEPT WELL IN THE TRAINS. BECAUSE OF MY LENGTH, I JUST NEVER GOT COMFORT. THEY WERE WAY TOO SHORT FOR ME. GOING TO CHICAGO, I CAN ALMOST REMEMBER EVERY CLICK THEY CLICK . IT WAS JUST A WAY OF LIFE. ON THE LONG TRIPS OUT TO THE EAST COAST, WE USED TO LOVE TO GO TO THE CLUB CAR, AND THEY HAD CRISPY TABLECLOTHS AND NAPKINS AND SIT THERE AND HAVE A NEW YORK STEAK. MEDIUM RARE, AND WATCH THE WORLD GO BY. THAT’S WHAT I MISS MOST, WERE THE ROAD TRIPS. THE CAMARADERIE OF THE GUYS ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL, TRYING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS AND WIN THAT OLD CHALICE, THE STANLEY CUP. JON: MUCH OF THE NHL’S HEART AND SOUL COULD BE FOUND DURING THE ORIGINAL SIX ERA. INCLUDING THREE OF THE NHL’S GREATEST DYNASTIES AND MANY OF ITS MORE MEMORABLE AND RECOGNIZABLE STARS. MOST NOTABLY, GORDIE HOWE, WHO HAD SUCH A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON THE PROFESSIONAL GAME, THEY CALLED HIM MR. HOCKEY.>>GORDIE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FORCE OF NATURE. HE WAS JUST ONE STRONG KID. AB HOWE, HIS FATHER, WOULD SHOW OFF GORDIE’S STRENGTH BY SAYING, GORDIE, GO LIFT UP THOSE FIVE BAGS OF 95-POUND CEMENT, AND GORDIE COULD ACTUALLY LIFT ALL FIVE BAGS, DOG-EARED, LIKE THAT, AND SWING THEM AND THROW THEM ON TO THE BACK OF A TRUCK.>>GORDIE HOWE WAS THE BEST HOCKEY PLAYER I EVER SAW. HE WAS THE ONLY AMBIDEXTROUS SUPERSTAR. IMAGINE, HE CAN SHOOT FROM THE LEFT, HE CAN SHOOT FROM THE RIGHT. WHO ELSE DOES THINGS LIKE THAT?>>HOWE GETS OVER THE LINE. HE’S CUTTING IN! HE GETS SET, A BACKHAND, HE SCORES! GORDIE HOWE!>>GORDIE COULD DO EVERYTHING.>>HE HAD THIS GREAT EDGE TO HIM. HE COULD BE AS PHYSICAL AND AS HARD HITTING AND AS NASTY AS YOU WANTED, BUT HE HAD SUCH A GREAT NOSE FOR THE NET. HE WAS NOT ONLY VERY SKILLED, BUT HE WAS TOUGH AS ANYBODY’S EVER BEEN IN THE NHL. JON: GORDIE HOWE PLAYED HIS FIRST NHL GAME IN OCTOBER OF 1946. AND FOR THE REST OF THE ORIGINAL SIX ERA, AND EVEN BEYOND, HE WAS THE FACE OF THE LEAGUE. BEGINNING IN 1950, AS THE CENTERPIECE OF THE FAMED PRODUCTION LINE, WAS SID ABLE AND TED LINDSEY. HOWE LED THE NHL IN SCORING FOUR CONSECUTIVE YEARS. TWICE IN BOTH GOALS AND ASSISTS. HE WAS THE OFFENSIVE ENGINE OF A RED WINGS TEAM THAT ALSO FEATURED TWO OTHER ALL-TIME GREATS, GOALTENDER TERRY SAW CHUCK –>>ONCE AGAIN, TERRY SAWCHUK IS TOO GOOD. JON: AND DEFENSEMAN RED KELLEY.>>TO RED KELLEY WHO DRIVES IN THE SCREEN SHOT.>>HALFTIME GOAL SCORERS, YOU HAVE TO HAVE CHECKERS. YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME DIGGERS WHO DIG THAT PUCK OUT OF THE CORNER. IT’S NOT ONE PLAYER, IT’S A TEAM.>>SAWCHUK IS MOBBED BY HIS JUBILANT TEAMMATES. JON: THE RED WINGS WON FOUR STANLEY CUPS IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE DECADE, INCLUDING BACK-TO-BACK IN 1954 AND 1955. AT THE TIME, A PERIOD OF UNPRECEDENTED DOMINANCE FOR THE NHL’S MARQUEE TEAM. FOR THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE, THE BACK HALF OF THE 1950’S SAW THE EMERGENCE OF ANOTHER LEGENDARY DYNASTY LED BY ANOTHER LEGENDARY STAR. THE FIRST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE TO SCORE 50 GOALS IN ONE SEASON. MAURICE “ROCKET” RICHARD.>>HIS EYES LOOKED LIKE LIGHTS FLASHING ON A PIN BALL MACHINE, AND HE LITERALLY SKATED TO THE NET CARRYING A DEFENSEMAN ON HIS BACK.>>AND THERE’S ROCKET GOAL NUMBER THREE.>>AS MUCH OF A HERO AS HE WAS AS A HOCKEY PLAYER, THERE VERY MUCH WAS THIS POLITICAL UNDERCURRENT IN THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC AS HE TURNED FROM THE 1940E’S INTO THE 1950’S.>>THE FRENCH CANADIANS, RIGHT IN QUEBEC, EVEN THOUGH IT’S A FRENCH-SPEAKING PROVINCE, OFTEN FELT OPPRESSED.>>MONTREAL IS MAJORITY FRENCH. PEOPLE DIDN’T FEEL THEY WERE THE MAJORITY. STRAIGHT AT THE TIME, THEY WERE BUSINESS WAS IN ENGLISH.>>ROCKET RICHARD WAS MORE THAN A HOCKEY PLAYER FOR CITIZENS OF QUEBEC. OVER THE YEARS HE BECAME AN ICON, A SYMBOL. JON: RICHARD’S FAME WAS SUCH THAT NEARLY TWO DECADES AFTER HE PLAYED, HE STILL WAS THE CENTERPIECE OF ROCK CARRIER’S ICONIC PIECE OF CANADIAN LITERATURE, THE CHILDREN’S BOOK, REQUEST THE HOCKEY SWEATER,” WHICH WAS ALSO MADE SPEW AN ANIMATED FILM. — MADE INTO AN ANIMATED FILM.>>WE ALL WORE THE SAME COSTUME.>>MY MOM SAID THE SWEATER, THERE’S HOLES THERE, PEOPLE WILL THINK THAT WE ARE POOR. SO I GOT A NEW SWEATER. THEY SAVED THE HOCKEY SWEATER, AND IT WAS NOT A SWEATER IN MONTREAL, CANADA, YET. IT WAS THE SWEATER OF THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS. THE ENEMY. I CAN’T WEAR THAT! RICHARD WOULD NEVER WEAR IT. JON: FORTUNATE FOR THE LITTLE HERO, 1,000 APPEAR, EAT A SWEATER AND END HIS MISERY. AND WHILE THE BOOK BRILLIANTLY CAPTURED THE CULTURAL TENSIONS BETWEEN ENGLISH AND FRENCH-SPEAKING CANADA, THERE WAS AN INCIDENT WITH MAURICE RICHARD IN 1955 THAT WAS FAR MORE VIOLENT. IT ALL BEGAN WHEN ROCKET ENGAGED IN AN ALTERCATION WITH THE BOSTON BRUINS AND KNOCKED THE LINESMAN UNCONSCIOUS. NHL PRESIDENT CLARENCE CAMPBELL SUSPENDED RICHARD FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON. AND THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS. AND WHEN CAMPBELL SHOWED UP FOR A GAME AT THE FORUM, MONTREAL FANS, UPSET WITH THE TREATMENT OF THEIR STAR PLAYER, SPILLED THEIR ANGER AS WELL AS BLOOD.>>THEY DIDN’T SUSPEND A HOCKEY PLAYER. THEY SUSPENDED GOD. AND A GUY COMES UP ON THE PREMISE OF SHAKING HANDS WITH MR. CAMPBELL, IN FACT, PUNCHES HIM, ALL OF A SUDDEN CAMPBELL IS BOMBARDED WITH TOMATOS AND OTHER DEBRIS. AND THEN A SMOKE BOMB GOES OFF.>>TEAR GAS BOMB WAS THROWN. FANS WENT ON A RAMPAGE.>>WE GOT INTO OUR DRESSING ROOM, AND THE DOCTOR COMES RUNNING IN, AND HE SAID THEY’VE THROWN TEAR GAS, AND HE’S KIND OF — WE UNDO OUR SKATES, AND WE DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE NEWS STANDS.>>AND FANS DESTROYED THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PROPERTY AND JUST PRETTY MUCH MADE A MESS OF THE CITY OF MONTREAL.>>IT WAS HOCKEY-INSPIRED, BUT IT BECAME MUCH MORE THAN THAT. THAT’S ANOTHER REFLECTION OF THE WAY THAT HOCKEY, ALMOST A LITERAL EXPRESSION OF THE WAY THAT HOCKEY SPILLS OUT OF THE RINK INTO LIFE. JON: RICHARD WAS SO FRUSTRATED AT THE SUSPENSION, HE EVEN CONTEMPLATED RETIREMENT. HE DID RECONSIDER AND EVENTUALLY RETURNED, VOWING TO LEAD TO GLORY WHAT WAS FAST BECOMING THE NHL’S MOST TALENTED TEAM.>>IT WAS JUST A JOY TO WATCH THOSE GUYS SKATE AND MOVE THAT PUCK. AND THEY WOULD JUST LAY THAT PUCK RIGHT ON THERE, WHEREVER IT WAS, THERE, THERE, UP THE CENTER. HE WAS MAGNIFICENT.>>AND THEN YOU MOVE UP FRONT AND YOU HAVE A GUY LIKE JEAN BELIVEAU. IF MAURICE RICHARD WAS 9 FURNACE OF THE BELLY OF THE CANADIENS, I WOULD SAY THAT JEAN BELIVEAU IS THE CONSCIENCE.>>FOR FIVE CONSECUTIVE SEASONS, ENDING IN 1960, LE CANADIENS WERE THE ONLY TEAM TO HOIST THE STANLEY CUP. A FEAT NO OTHER NHL TEAM HAD EVER ACCOMPLISHED. AND THEY DID IT WITH PRETTY MUCH THE SAME LINEUP EACH YEAR. BELIVEAU, HARVEY, DICKIE MOORE, BOOM BOOM JEFFREYEN, MAURICE RICHARD, AND HIS YOUNGER BROTHER, HENRI, WERE AMONG THE 12 PLAYERS WHO PLAYED ON ALL FIVE CUP-WINNING TEAMS. JON: FOR MOST OF THE ORIGINAL SIX ERA, NHL HOCKEY LOOKED PRETTY MUCH THE SAME, SAME SIX TEAMS, PLAYING IN THE SAME SIX ARENAS, MADISON SQUARE GARDEN IN NEW YORK, THE FORUM IN MONTREAL, DETROIT’S OLYMPIA, THE BOSTON GARDEN, CHICAGO STADIUM, AND MAPLE LEAF GARDENS. BUT OVER THOSE SAME 25 YEARS, THERE WERE SEVERAL NOTABLE INNOVATIONS THAT HAD A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE GAME. THE RED LINE WAS INTRODUCED IN 1943, WHICH HELPED SPEED UP PLAY. THREE YEARS LATER, MAPLE LEAF GARDENS INSTALLED PLEXIGLAS, WHICH IMPROVED THE FAN EXPERIENCE. AND EIGHT YEARS AFTER THAT IN 1954, THE ZAMBONI WAS FIRST USED, AND POOR ICE CONDITIONS AROUND THE LEAGUE WOULD SOON IMPROVE DRAMATICALLY. PLAYER EQUIPMENT CHANGED QUITE A BIT, TOO. IN 1947, EMILE FRANCIS MADE GOALTENDING EASIER BY USING A NEW, LARGER CATCHING GLOVE. ALTHOUGH THAT UPGRADE DID LITTLE TO MAKE THE NHL’S MOST DANGEROUS POSITION ANY SAFER.>>I’M JUST IN AWE OF THE PUNISHMENT THAT THOSE GUYS TOOK FROM PUCKS AND CRASHING PLAYERS AND SKATES FLYING AT THEM. THE EQUIPMENT THEY WERE WEARING DIDN’T PROVIDE A LOT OF PROTECTION, ESPECIALLY THE FACT THAT THEY WEREN’T WEARING MASKS. IT WAS A MARK OF HONOR, REALLY, HOW MANY STITCHES YOU’D HAD THROUGH YOUR CAREER.>>I HAD 45 STITCHES HERE ON A SKATE, AND THAT WAS THE TIME THAT DIDN’T HAVE WHITE TIPS BEHIND THE SKATE.>>I KNEW THAT I WAS GOING TO GET SOME SCARS SOONER OR LATER. I KNEW I WAS GOING TO LOSE MY TEETH, AND I DID LOSE THEM ALL.>>BRETT LIKED TO SHAVE BEFORE A GAME, WELLING WHEN SHE THEY’RE PUTTING STITCHES IN, IT’S EASIER AND CLEAN WHEN HER I’M CLEAN-SHAVEN. JON: WHILE MOST PLAYERS CONSIDERED A STITCHED-UP FACE TO BE A BADGE OF HONOR, THERE WAS A SENSE OF CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT WHEN IT CAME TO THE MEN IN THE NET. AND IN 1959, JACQUES PLANTE FINALLY DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT.>>HE WAS MAD, AND HE CAME IN AND FLIPPED THE PUCK INTO HIS FACE, NO MASK. HE HAD BEEN EXPERIMENTING WITH A MASK. HE WENT OFF TO GET REPAIRED, AND HIS NOSE WAS A BLOODY MESS.>>PLANTE GOT STITCHED UP AND SAID I’M ONLY GOING BACK IN IF I CAN WEAR MY MASK.>>HE TOOK OFF ON A WINNING STREAK AFTER THAT, AND THAT CEMENTED HIS ABILITY TO WEAR THE MASK IN NHL GAMES.>>THINGS MOVE VERY QUICKLY AFTER THAT, BUT THERE’S A LOT OF RESISTANCE. I MEAN, GUYS IN THE NHL AREN’T WEARING MASKS 10 YEARS AFTER THAT STILL.>>EVEN 1974, ANDY BROWN OF THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS WAS STILL NOT WEARING A MASK. BY THIS POINT IN THE LEAGUE, YOU ALREADY HAD PLAYERS LIKE BOBBY HULL, WHO PERFECTED THE SLAP SHOT. HE WAS SHOOTING HIS SLAP SHOT AT 118 MILES PER HOUR, SO YOU’RE TAKING YOUR LIFE IN YOUR OWN HANDS AT THE OTHER END OF A BOBBY HULL SLAP SHOT.>>WHEN I STARTED SOMETHING, I WANTED TO PERFECT IT. I GOT SO I COULD SLAP THAT PUCK PRETTY GOOD. JON: HIS TEAMMATE STAN MIKITA HAD A STICK THAT HAD BEEN BROKEN PARTWAY, AND HE REALIZE IT HAD DID ALL KINDS OF THINGS WHEN IT SLAPPED IT. UP AND DOWN AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THE LIGHT BULB WENT OVER THEIR HEADS, AND THEY’RE SOAKING IS IN HOT WATER AND PUTTING IT UNDER DOOR FRAMES SO THEY CAN CURVE THE STICK. WHAT CHANGED THE GAME SUBSTANTIALLY.>>THEN AFTER REVOLUTIONIZING THE GAME, THE NHL CAME TO US, OK, WE WANT TO YOU GET THREE STICKS READY AND WE’RE GOING TO COME AND CHECK THEM TO SEE THAT THEY’RE NOT TOO MUCH HOOK. WELL, THEY MIGHT JUST AS WELL HAVE POUNDED SAND, BECAUSE AS SOON AS THEIR BACK WAS TURNED, I GOT THE TORCH OUT AND I WAS HOOKING IT THE WAY I WANTED IT. JON: IT WAS, HOWEVER, HARDLY SURPRISING THAT SOME OTHER MORE IMPORTANT CHANGES WERE SLOW TO COME TO THE LEAGUE. IT WASN’T UNTIL 1958 THAT THE NHL SAW ITS FIRST BLACK PLAYER, WILLIE O’REE. BOSTON BRUINS. AND WHEN IT CAME TO CONTRACTS, ORIGINAL SIX OWNERS HAD THE PLAYERS JUST WHERE THEY WANTED THEM. THE OWNERS OF THE SIX TEAMS WERE PLAYING THEIR PLAYERS A PITTANCE FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES. HEY, IF YOU DON’T LIKE, IT THE AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE, WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE ARE THERE, WE’LL SEND YOU THERE AGAIN AND YOU’LL SOB FAR GONE, THE HOCKEY NEWS WON’T BE ABLE TO FIND YOU.>>EVERY YEAR WAS A BATTLE FOR YOUR SALARY. THEY WOULD GO IN AND SIT DOWN, AND THE CONTRACT WOULD BE SHOVED ACROSS TO THEM TO LOOK AT, AND IT WOULD BE THE VERY SAME ONE THEY HAD THE YEAR BEFORE, THE SAME YEAR AS THE YEAR BEFORE THAT. JON: EVENTUALLY A FEW HIGH-PROFILE PLAYERS DECIDED SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE. IN 1957, TED LINDSEY OF THE DETROIT RED WINGS WAS ONE OF THEM. RISKING HIS CAREER IN AN ATTEMPT TO START AN NHL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION.>>WE WEREN’T LOOKING TO RUN THE GAME, BUT I’D DO THE SAME THING TODAY, BECAUSE I BELIEVED THAT WHEN I WAS DOING, I WASN’T DOING IT TO AGITATE OWNERS. I WAS DOING IT FOR THE PLAYERS. JON: ALTHOUGH SOME PROGRESS WAS MADE, IT WOULD BE ANOTHER 10 YEARS BEFORE THE NHL WOULD HAVE AN OFFICIAL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION . WHILE LINDSEY HIMSELF, DESPITE BEING A NINE-TIME ALL-STAR, AND CAPTAIN OF THE DETROIT RED WINGS, WAS UNCEREMONIOUSLY TRADED TO THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS. HE LEFT IN 1960, A YEAR BEFORE THE HAWKS, WITH BOBBY HULL, STAN MIKITA, AND GOALIE GLENN HULL WON THE 1961 STANLEY CUP. IT WAS, IN FACT, THE ONLY TIME IN THE ORIGINAL SIX ERA THAT A TEAM OTHER THAN THE MONTREAL CANADIENS, DETROIT RED WINGS, OR TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, WOULD WIN THE CUP. THE LEAFS BOOKENDED THE ERAS 25 YEARS, WINNING THE CUP SIX TIMES FROM 1942 TO 1951, THE NHL’S FIRST REAL DYNASTY. BUT AFTER THAT, IT WOULD BE ANOTHER DECADE BEFORE TORONTO WOULD CHALLENGE FOR THE CUP AGAIN. THIS TIME LED BY YOUNG STARS DAVE KEON AND FRANK, AS WELL AS VETERANS RED KELLEY AND THE AGELESS WONDER IN GOAL, JOHNNY BAUER, WHO HAD SPENT MOST OF HIS FIRST 14 PROFESSIONAL SEASONS IN THE MINORS BEFORE FINALLY FINDING HIS FORM IN TORONTO.>>BAUER, AND COVERING UP ON THE SHOT.>>MY CHILDHOOD DREAM, I WANTED TO PLAY IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE. I WANTED TO HAVE MY NAME ENGRAVED ON THE STANLEY CUP.>>COME POURING OVER THE BOARDS TO CONGRATULATE ONE ANOTHER.>>AND MY DREAM CAME FINALLY TRUE. JON: BAUER FIRST SAW HIS NAME ENGRAVED IN 1962, AND THEN AGAIN IN 1963 AND 1964. ALTHOUGH THAT YEAR IS BEST REMEMBERED FOR ANOTHER LEAFS’ ACT OF REMARKABLE COURAGE. TRADING THE RED WINGS — TRAILING THE RED WINGS THREE GAMES TO TWO, A DEFENSEMAN HAD TO LEAVE THE ICE ON A STRETCHER AFTER BLOCKING A SHOT LATE IN GAME SIX.>>AND THEY’RE LIFTING VAUGHN UP THERE ON THAT STRETCHER.>>HIS PAIN THRESHOLD WAS VERY HIGH. HE PLAYED WITH INJURIES THAT NORMAL PEOPLE WOULDN’T HAVE PLAYED. JON: VAUGHN SOMEHOW RETURNED TO SCORE THE OVERTIME GOAL.>>HE COMES BACK TO BOB VAUGHN, AND HE SHOOTS AND SCORES. BOB VAUGHN’S SHOT! JON: THEN HELPED THE LEAFS WIN GAME SEVEN.>>AND THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS WIN THE STANLEY CUP! JON: AS IT TURNED OUT, ON A BROKEN ANKLE. AFTER TORONTO’S RUN IN THE MID 1960’S, THE CUP TWICE WENT BACK TO MONTREAL. AND BY 1967, MOST OF TORONTO’S VETERAN TEAM WAS THOUGHT TO BE TOO FAR DOWN THE LINE TO CHALLENGE THE MIGHTY CANADIENS FOR ANOTHER STANLEY CUP.>>NO ONE THAT YEAR EXPECTS THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS TO WIN, INCLUDING IN TORONTO. GREAT PLAYERS, BUT FOR THE MOST PART, THEY ARE ON THE VERY BACK END OF THEIR CAREER.>>EVERYBODY SORT OF THOUGHT THIS WAS THE OVER THE HILL GANG.>>OVER THE HILL GANG, BUT OVER THE HILL GANG KNEW HOW TO WIN. JON: DESPITE AN AVERAGE AGE OF MORE THAN 40E, TORONTO’S GOALTENDING TANDEM OF JOHNNY BAUER AND TERRY SAWCHUK LED THE LEAFS TO A SURPRISING VICTORY.>>IT’S ALL OVER. THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS HAVE WON THE STANLEY CUP.>>THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. YOU GROW UP AS A KID, YOU WANT TO PLAY IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE. THEN YOU WANT TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. AFTER YOU’VE WON ONE, THEN UP TO THE WIN ANOTHER ONE, THEN ANOTHER ONE, THAT’S WHAT I LOVE. THAT’S WHAT I LOVED THE MOST. JON: THAT CUP, TORONTO’S 13TH, WOULD BE THE LAST OF THE ORIGINAL SIX ERA. JUST SIX MONTHS LATER, THE NHL WOULD DOUBLE IN SIZE, AND NOTHING ABOUT THE LEAGUE WOULD EVER LOOK THE SAME AGAIN. [CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY THE NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE, WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CAPTIONING CONTENT AND ACCURACY. VISIT NCICAP.ORG]

The NHL Story, Ep 2 : The Original Six
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