Original SixTM

Posted on Oct. 03, 2014 by in Latest Stamps

Since it formed in 1917, the National Hockey League® had seen many teams come and go. In 1942, the disbanding of the Brooklyn (formerly New York) Americans brought the number of teams to six. The Boston Bruins®, Chicago Black Hawks®, Detroit Red Wings®, Montreal Canadiens®, New York Rangers® and Toronto Maple Leafs® would become known as the Original Six™ teams, and remained stable opponents for a quarter century until the NHL® doubled in size in 1967.

In this quarter century, lasting legends were born. Toronto and Montréal built hockey dynasties: the Leafs won the Stanley Cup® nine times, the last time in 1967; the Canadiens won 10, including five consecutive titles between 1956 and 1960.

These were the golden years of the players on bubble-gum scented cards in every schoolboy’s pocket – Maurice “the Rocket” Richard, Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, Bobby Orr, Jacques Plante, and so many others. As television sets replaced radios, Foster Hewitt brought games to life on Hockey Night in Canada in English-speaking homes with the expression “He shoots ... he scores!” In French Canada, “Et c’est le but!” became a familiar expression thanks to René Lecavalier, the host of La Soirée du hockey.

When fans of the Original Six era called for “-DEE-fence, DEE-fence,” their wish was answered by six Canadian superstars who are featured in our 2014 issue of Original Six defencemen: Tim Horton, Doug Harvey, Bobby Orr, Harry Howell, Pierre Pilote and Red Kelly. Their story – and that of the six teams in what some call the greatest hockey era ever – is told through these stamps.

With this special issue, imagine yourself in the legendary Maple Leaf Gardens or the storied Montreal Forum. Picture your seat in Chicago’s “Madhouse on Madison,” Detroit’s “Old Red Barn,” or New York’s Madison Square Garden. Dream of watching Bobby Orr score a championship-winning goal at the Boston “Gahden.” These six blue-line heroes take to the ice again as we present another chapter of the history of the NHL.

Bobby Orr
In 1966, Bobby Orr – a budding star from Parry Sound, Ontario – took to the ice with the Boston Bruins. His first year earned him the Calder Trophy and a spot on the NHL’s Second All-Star Team.

The 1969-70 season was a milestone for Orr. He was the first defenceman in League history to lead the NHL in scoring, with 33 goals and 87 assists. He won the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy. Orr also earned his third Norris Trophy in as many seasons, bringing him one step closer to his record of eight consecutive wins. For the third straight season, he was also selected for the First All-Star Team. To top it all off, the Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 29 years – with Orr scoring the winning goal in overtime. As the puck entered the net, photographers snapped an enduring photo of him soaring horizontally several feet above the ice, his arms outstretched in victory. For his outstanding play, Orr was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the League’s most valuable player in the playoffs. Following this incredible year, Orr signed the first $1-million deal realized in hockey to start the 1971-72 season.

Harry Howell
By his retirement, Harry Howell had 1,581 professional hockey games to his credit, more than any other defenceman. The durable and dependable defender from Hamilton, Ontario, hit the ice with the New York Rangers at just 19 years of age and stayed with the team for 17 years.

Howell earned his name on the Norris Trophy and a spot on the First NHL All-Star Team during the 1966-67 season. To honour their hero, ecstatic fans, dignitaries and businessmen attended the Harry Howell Night celebration January 25, 1967, at Madison Square Garden. There, and in his hometown, Howell was showered with gifts, including engraved watches, a new car, trips to resorts, a gas barbecue, a box of cigars, a seven-foot artificial Christmas tree and a year’s supply of cheese.

After his years with the Rangers, Howell played for the Oakland Seals and the Los Angeles Kings®. He switched to the World Hockey Association in 1973, eventually retiring as a player in 1976. Howell continued to work in professional hockey in the front office and as a scout until 1979.

Doug Harvey
Doug Harvey, born in Montréal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood, joined the Montreal Canadiens full-time for the 1948-49 season. He quickly became known for controlling the pace of the game by carrying the puck until he was ready to make a play. The team won the Stanley Cup in 1953, an early sign of the record-setting five consecutive championships the Canadiens would earn between 1956 and 1960.

Harvey’s defensive skill earned him 10 appearances on the First All-Star Team and anchored the legendary Montreal lineup that included Maurice Richard, Jacques Plante, Jean Béliveau and Bernard “Boom Boom” Geoffrion. During this record-setting period for the Canadiens, Harvey was awarded the Norris Trophy in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1960.

Following the 1960 win, team captain Maurice Richard retired and Harvey took over. He held the title for just one year – a season that earned him a sixth Norris Trophy – before being traded to the New York Rangers in 1961. There he won his final Norris Trophy. Before retiring in 1969, Harvey played for various teams including the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues®.

Tim Horton
Known for his incredible strength, the Cochrane, Ontario-born Tim Horton joined the Toronto Maple Leafs’ full-time roster and helped the Leafs to Stanley Cup championships in 1962, 1963, 1964 and again in 1967.

Off the ice, Horton was a businessman. In 1964, he opened his first Tim Hortons Donuts in Hamilton, Ontario. Its success tempted him to retire in 1969; so assuming he’d be turned down, he asked the Leafs to double his salary. To his surprise, the Leafs agreed and Horton signed on for one more year.

Horton then played for the New York Rangers, the Pittsburgh Penguins® and the Buffalo Sabres®. On February 20, 1974, the Sabres played in Toronto. As Horton returned to Buffalo, his still-brilliant career was ended by a fatal car accident.

Horton left an incredible legacy on the ice – 23 NHL seasons, four Stanley Cup championships and three appearances on the NHL First All-Star Team. Though he never won the Norris trophy, his achievements rival those who did. A generation of Maple Leaf fans remembers Horton as the greatest defenceman to don the blue and white.

Red Kelly
Hailing from Simcoe, Ontario, Red Kelly was considered a gentleman – a reputation that would earn him the Lady Byng Trophy four times in the NHL. He could nonetheless take care of himself on the ice. Years of boxing at St. Michael’s College proved his toughness.

Kelly was invited to Detroit’s training camp and started with the Red Wings for the 1947-48 season where he played with superstars like Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Sid Abel. A key member of the Red Wings, Kelly helped Detroit win the Stanley Cup in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955.

During his 20-year career, Kelly proved his versatility. He succeeded as a defenceman with the Red Wings, earning the inaugural Norris Trophy in 1954. Then, in 1959, he moved to the Toronto Maple Leafs to play as a centre for eight successful years. Kelly – along with teammates Frank Mahovlich, Johnny Bower, Dave Keon, Andy Bathgate, and Tim Horton – brought home four more Stanley Cup victories for the Leafs. After retiring as a player, Kelly returned to successfully coach NHL hockey.

Pierre Pilote
Born in Kénogami, Quebec, and raised in Fort Erie, Ontario, Pierre Pilote learned to skate at a young age. As a teenager, Pilote had nowhere to play locally: his rink had burned down. Luckily, he was invited to play with the St. Catharines Teepees and then the Buffalo Bisons, a farm team for the then-named Chicago Black Hawks.

Pilote made it to the NHL for the 1955-56 season with the Black Hawks, where he was a reliable defenceman, playing through many injuries. He could be a tough guy – a reputation well-earned in a tussle when he defeated both Henri and Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens. The versatile Pilote made a virtue of learning from other players, giving himself the nickname “Mr. Xerox.”

Paired with Elmer (Moose) Vasko, Pilote was key to the Black Hawks’ Stanley Cup Championship in 1961. He was named the team’s captain, leading such legends as Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. For seven consecutive years from 1960 to 1967, Pilote earned spots on NHL All-Star teams. His success as a defenceman earned him the Norris Trophy three times, from 1963 to 1965.

Stamp Specifications

  • Product #: 413962111
  • Layout: Booklet of 6 stamps
  • Price: $5.10
  • Denomination: 6 x Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 32 mm x 40 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 7 colours
  • Quantity: 750,000
Shop Now
  • Product #: 403962107
  • Layout: Special pane of 6 stamps
  • Price: $5.10
  • Denomination: 6 x Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 160 mm x 160 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 180,000
Shop Now
  • Product #: 403962145
  • Layout: Souvenir sheets (pack of 6)
  • Price: $15.00
  • Denomination: 6 x $2.50 (international rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 52.5 mm x 79 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 125,000
Shop Now
  • Product #: 413965131
  • Layout: Official First Day Cover – Bobby Orr
  • Price: $1.85
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Parry Sound ON
  • Denomination: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 191 mm x 113 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 20,000
Shop Now
  • Product #: 413968131
  • Layout: Official First Day Cover – Harry Howell
  • Price: $1.85
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Hamilton ON
  • Denomination: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 191 mm x 113 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 12,000
Shop Now
  • Product #: 413963131
  • Layout: Official First Day Cover – Doug Harvey
  • Price: $1.85
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Montréal QC
  • Denomination: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 191 mm x 113 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 16,000
Shop Now
  • Product #: 413964131
  • Layout: Official First Day Cover – Tim Horton
  • Price: $1.85
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Cochrane ON
  • Denomination: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 191 mm x 113 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 16,000
Shop Now
  • Product #: 413967131
  • Layout: Official First Day Cover – Red Kelly
  • Price: $1.85
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Simcoe ON
  • Denomination: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 191 mm x 113 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 12,000
Shop Now
  • Product #: 413963131
  • Layout: Official First Day Cover – Pierre Pilote
  • Price: $1.85
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Kénogami QC
  • Denomination: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Avi Dunkelman, Joseph Gault (MIX Design Group)
  • Dimensions: 191 mm x 113 mm
  • Photography: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 12,000
Shop Now

Categories

Archive