Put the Original Six to Rest Already

Let me preface this post by saying I am a huge fan of tradition.

In the Columbus Blue Jackets' short history, you will find things such as: pre-game chants of "LEO!"; the cannon, after which we are aptly named; and the Blue Jackets name itself is honoring Columbus and the state of Ohio's role in the Civil War.

The Original Six, as you may know, are the first six teams to make up the National Hockey League, consisting of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers (though this is a bit inaccurate, as other teams came and went throughout some of the early years).

I have not been a huge fan of the whole Original Six idea for some time. Originally, the name started to designate the six aforementioned teams that were part of the league before expansion in 1967, when six more teams were added to the league. Today, it is used to denote teams that are held in some special regard. We will no doubt continue to hear about the Original Six New York Rangers coming to Columbus well through Saturday and probably on into Sunday.

But what does it mean? What other league groups or terms a subset of teams as special, based on anything other than their winning percentage? There's a reason people care about the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts but not the Jacksonville Jaguars. Likewise, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics matter for one simple reason: they win.

Why should I care about the Toronto Maple Leafs again? They haven't won a Stanley Cup since the league had more than a dozen teams.

Meanwhile, I don't mind the coverage the Pittsburgh Penguins or Detroit Red Wings receive from the media. They're good, they win, and in the case of Pittsburgh, they have as much hockey tradition as any other city with a professional team.

I don't expect people outside of Columbus to truly care or be passionate about the Blue Jackets until the team does something meaningful. As it stands, the team may be another year or more away from a serious playoff run.

But how about we start caring about teams for what counts -- wins -- and not based on date of birth.

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