ManMade Art for Guys' art prints often make historical references using unique design details. Fans of our work share our interests and appreciation for good designs that make a statement and tell a story. We've had many requests to expand our NHL series of art posters and as huge fans of the game ourselves, we decided to create our NHL Original Six collection. These collectable prints explore the history of the league with designs and details relevant to the time period of the NHL's origins.
The history of graphic design is also fascinating to us. Many of NHL's original six teams began play in or around the great depression of the 1930s. Graphic design was also evolving into a new art form and depression era artists like Lester Beall were leading the way. The iconic series of posters he produced for the United Sates government to promote Rural Electrification were particularly inspirational to us during the creation of our NHL Original Six series for his bold use of colour and photography.
Beall's influences, the history of the league and the cities they play in to this day all come together our boldly designed NHL Original Six collection. The poster series draws together photo-illustrations of iconic players from the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wing, Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers with thematic elements associated with each team.
The NHL awarded Vermont-born grocery financier Charles Francis Adams a franchise in 1924. The Boston Bruins played their home games from 1924 to 1928 in the Boston Arena and moved into the original Boston Gardens in November of 1928. Adams hired Art Ross who would manage the team for the next 30 years.
Our Bruins Original Six poster print features a photo-illustration of "The Goal" scored by Bruin icon Bobby Orr versus the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup in 1970. The moment is frozen in time is set against a bold backdrop of the original Bruins uniform strip pattern and colours still in use today. The shamrock graphic is a nod to Boston's strong Irish cultural heritage.
The Chicago Black Hawks began play in 1926–27 along with new expansion franchises Detroit Cougars and New York Rangers. The Portland Rosebuds of the Western Hockey League were bought and moved to Chicago yet construction delays meant they would not move into their new home (the Chicago Stadium) until the 1928–29 season. Instead they split their home games between the Coliseum, the Detroit Olympia and the Peace Bridge Arena in Fort Erie, Ontario.
Dick Irvin Sr., one of the Blackhawk's early greats, is the focal point of our Chicago Blackhawks Original Six print. His image appears with a photo-illustration of the old Chicago Stadium against a backdrop of the team's original black and white stripe uniform pattern.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings became one of the NHL's original six teams in 1926 when the Victoria Cougars of the old Western Hockey League were sold to a group from Detroit. Known originally as the Detroit Cougars, they played their first home games in Windsor, Ontario. At the start of the 1927 season they moved into their new home in Detroit—The Olympia.
Our Red Wings Original Six design sets original great Sid Abel against the stripe pattern of the team's original jersey. We give a nod to Motor City with the photo-illustration of a vintage 1927 Model-T Ford.
The Montreal Canadiens were among four teams to play during the National Hockey League's inaugural season in 1917. They went on to win their first of 24 Stanley Cups that season against the Ottawa Senators. Names like Newsy Lalonde, Joe Malone, Howie Morenz and the iconic Maurice 'The Rocket' Richard are not only etched in the cup but have forged franchise legends.
Maurice 'The Rocket' Richard was one of the all time greats to dawn the bleu, blanc et rouge. It's only fitting that he, and the old Montreal Forum, are the focal point of our Montreal Canadiens print featuring a repeating backdrop of the three colour stripe, still found on today's jerseys.
New York Rangers
The NHL awarded a hockey franchise to Madison Square Garden owner G.I. “Tex” Rickard in 1926. Rickard already owned another NHL team—the popular New York Americans. He saw the opportunity to add a second team to play in the Gardens and convinced Conn Smythe to leave Toronto and scour North America for the best undiscovered talent. Soon the Rangers surpassed the Americans in popularity and became New York's sole team.
Rangers hall of famers Bill Cook, Frank Boucher & Fred “Bun” Cook known as the ”Bread Line” line up on New York Rangers Original Six poster print. A photo-illustration of the Statue of Liberty stands proudly against the bold red, white and blue stripe and colour pattern.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto's NHL franchise became the Maple Leafs in 1927 when Conn Smythe, recently fired by the New York Rangers, bought the St. Pats keeping the struggling team in Toronto. Smythe changed the uniform colours to blue and white and renamed the team as the Maple Leafs, in honour of his military past and the Maple Leaf Regiment.
Ace Bailey's name figures prominently and Maple Leaf Gardens both figure prominently in the Leafs early history. It's only fitting that both appear against the stripe pattern found on the original 1927 jersey.
All of our NHL Original Six art posters are printed on high-quality, archival grade paper with colour fast inks. The classic, timeless designs make a great gift or addition to any hockey fan's favourite room or man cave.