NHL’s Original Six: A Longtime New York Rangers Follower Looks Back

September 27th, 2012 by Alan Greenberg Leave a reply »
The lockout leaves little in the way of live NHL action to report. For this lifetime rink rat, it's an opportunity to reflect on more than half a century of hockey watching.

As a native New Yorker, I was one of a select group who, because there was no radio or television coverage in the late 1950s, found themselves at almost every game at the old Madison Square Garden. I sat with fellow fanatics up in the balcony, which hung so close over the ice that it was actually one of the better seats in the house. The last game at the historic arena was almost 45 years ago, during the first season of expansion.  There were to be more changes in the few years after the first expansion than there were during any time in prior NHL history.

For New Yorkers, it meant a spanking new arena (which is now the oldest arena in the NHL), a lot of strange faces coming to town and a rapid reshaping of the game.  It was no longer a cozy six-team league in which teams played each other fourteen times per season. When an evil deed was done, the opportunity for retribution came quickly, often the following evening.

For the tidy sum of $2 million each, a ...

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