Defunct NHL hockey team, apperantly born under a wandering star crossed with a bad sign. First attempt at introducing ice hockey to California, and as such a precursor to the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and Los Angeles Kings (actually, the Kings entered the league during the same expansion as the Seals). Former tenets of the Oakland/Alameda County Coliseum Arena, current home of the Golden State Warriors.

The Seals began life in 1967 as the California Seals, and were changed three months into the season to the Oakland Seals. In 1970, they became the California Golden Seals, keeping that name until 1975, when they were once again the California Seals. In 1976, after struggling to gain acceptance in the Bay Area (possibly due to the most indecisive marketing campaign in history), the franchise was sold off and relocated, moving to Ohio to become the Cleveland Barons, which were folded into the Minnesota North Stars in 1978. And, of course, in 1993 the North Stars were moved to Dallas to become the Stars. As I said, a wandering star.

A product of the big 1967 expansion of the NHL, the Seals' history is anything but glorious. In their first season, they won only 15 games, and participated in the first (and, as far as I know, only) death in modern NHL history, when Bill Masterton of the North Stars died from brain damage sustained during a fall while playing against the Seals (Masterton was not wearing a helmet at the time). The Seals were sold after their first season, but in the second season managed to make it to the first round of the playoffs, losing to the L.A Kings. After the second season, they were sold again, and were then swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins. After dismal showings in the 70-71 through 72-73 seasons, the franchise was taken over by the NHL. Under the careful guidance of the NHL, the Seals had their worst season ever- 13 wins (though they didn't kill anyone, for a change). The Seals were sold again for the 75-76 season, their last in California. An attempt to move to San Francisco fell through, and they were sold again at the end of the season, and relocated to Cleveland, where they lived on (briefly) as the Barons.

The Seals' record in the NHL is rather pitiful. Highlights involving the Seals typically involve other teams beating them by a double-digit margin, players for other teams reaching important milestones by scoring on or defeating the Seals, and the fact that they were the first team to finish dead last in the Adams Division of the expansion NHL. The franchise was poorly managed, and had difficulty attracting fans, despite weird gimicks like garishly colored uniforms and Wedding White ice skates.

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