“Sharks” vs. “Golden Seals”

Apr 3, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) warms up before the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Sharks defeated the Stars 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

There’s a piece on the sjsharks.com website about how the Sharks got their name.  Many of you reading this remember but as a quick summary there was a contest held, over 2000 names were submitted and club management chose “Sharks” from that list.  Two interesting tidbits:

  1. Other names included as top-15 finalists were: Blades, Breakers, Breeze, Condors, Fog, Gold, Golden Gaters, Golden Skaters, Grizzlies, Icebreakers, Knights, Redwoods, Sea Lions, Sharks and Waves.
  2. Name not included: California Golden Seals.

For anyone who talks about the Original Six in hockey, there should be people who talk about the “Next Six,” the teams added during the league’s first expansion in 1967 (Kings, Flyers, Penguins, Blues, Minnesota North Stars and California Golden Seals).  Brad Kurtzberg wrote a great book about the Seals, I’d offer to lend my copy but it’s worth a purchase.   There’s not enough space for me to do them justice in this column, but my favorite story about the Seals is that team owner Charlie O insisted that the players wear white skates, and accomplished this by painting the skates…over and over again to keep them fresh.  By season’s end the skates were covered in layers of thick and heavy paint, leaving the players feeling like they were skating with lead on their skates (literally).

Many current Sharks fans don’t know anything about the Seals; they should.  Minority Seals owners George and Gordon Gund caught the Bay Area hockey bug during their first tenure as NHL owners and are the main reason for hockey’s return to Northern California.  In other words, without the Seals we wouldn’t have the Sharks.  Still, we should all be thankful to the Hockey Gods that current ownership didn’t go back to the tradition of the “Golden Seals” name; the team’s team colors, uniforms and moniker are happily in the rear view mirror for Bay Area hockey fans.

~BB

Worst Now-Defunct NHL Team Names

  1. California Golden Seals
  2. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
  3. Montreal Maroons
  4. Montreal Wanderers
  5. Kansas City Scouts

Want to debate a list? Tweet me @bluelineboomer

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Topics: Hockey Gods

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  • Kingshark49

    My first ever live hockey game was a California Seals game at the Oakland Coliseum Arena when I was nine years old. My father, who was not really much of a hockey fan himself got tickets to a game from his boss and he took me any my older sister. It was a game against the Philadelphia Flyers and that’s where I fell in love with the game of hockey. Many years later, that fire still burns bright as to me this is not just a sport, but a large family that all enjoy and live and breath the same passion for the greatest game of all…

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