Showing posts with label california golden seals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label california golden seals. Show all posts

Saturday, April 11, 2015

7 NHL Stars Who Played For The California Golden Seals

harry howell 1970-71 o-pee-chee hockey card
The Califonia Golden Seals existed in the National Hockey League for just a short nine year span from 1967-68 to 1975-76. Originally dubbed the Oakland Seals, the team was one of six expansion teams to enter the NHL for the 1967-68 season. Despite the fact that their nine years were nothing more than dismal, several decent players passed through the organization.

Harry Howell

Harry Howell is the only player in the Hockey Hall of Fame that ever dressed for the Golden Seals. Howell played just the 1969-70 season and part of the 1970-71 season with the club after 17 years with the New York Rangers. After 28 games in 1970-71, he was traded down the California coast to the Los Angeles Kings. The 1966-67 Norris Trophy winner was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Bryan Watson

Bryan ‘Bugsy’ Watson was best known for the time he spent in the penalty box but he was also a decent defenseman. Now 41st on the NHL’s all-time list of penalty minute leaders, he was once number one. Watson finished his NHL career with 2212 PIM in 878 games. Watson played one season with the Oakland Seals, 1968-69. His NHL career spanned from 1963-64 to 1978-79, also playing for the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals.

Bobby Baun

In the final season of the ‘Original Six’era, 1966-67, Bob Baun was the hero of the Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup victory. The following season, he was on the blue line for the Oakland Seals, a team that won just 15 games. 1967-68 was the only season Baun spent in California during a career that started in 1956-57 and ended after the 1972-73 season. Baun also played three seasons with the Detroit Red Wings.

Carol Vadnais

Carol Vadnais played sparingly for the Montreal Canadiens during the 1966-67 and 1967-68 seasons. He became a regular in the NHL with the Seals in 1968-69. Vadnais spent two years with California before moving on to bigger and better things with the Boston Bruins. Carol played a total of 1087 regular season NHL games between 1966-67 and 1982-83 with the Canadiens, Golden Seals, Bruins, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

Reg Leach

Drafted third overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft, Reggie Leach never really caught on with the Big Bad Bruins, playing just two partial seasons with the club in 1970-71 and part of 1971-72 and scoring just a total of nine goals. Playing with the California Golden Seals until the end of the 1973-74 season, Leach’s goal scoring ability began to blossom. It was with the Philadelphia Flyers that Leach exploded. He scored 61 in 1975-76 and 50 in 1979-80. He scored 19 in 16 playoff games in 1975-76 earning him the Conn Smythe Trophy in a losing effort. He won two Stanley Cups with Philadelphia, included a victory over the Bruins in 1974.

Charlie Simmer

Charlie Simmer was a third round pick of the Seals in the 1974 NHL Draft. He was a seldom used forward by California and even by the Cleveland Barons when the team was relocated there for the 1976-77 season. However, after being traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1978-79 and being stuck on a line with Marcel Dionne and Dave Taylor, Charlie showed the hockey world what he could do. Simmer scored 56 goals in each the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons as a member of the Triple Crown Line. Those goal totals were accomplished in just 64 and 65 games. Simmer played 712 NHL games with the Seals, Barons, Kings, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Dennis Maruk

In the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft, the last for the Golden Seals, they finally got it right. In the second round, they drafted Dennis Maruk. Maruk scored 30 goals in his rookie season and 36 with the Barons two years later. He topped out with 60 goals and 136 points in a Washington Capitals uniform in 1981-82. Dennis played 888 regular season NHL games with the Seals/Barons/North Stars and Capitals and scored 356 goals over that time.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

NHL Hockey Trivia: Oakland Seals and California Golden Seals

california seals 1976-77 o-pee-chee hockey card
The California Golden Seals existed in the National Hockey League for nine years from 1967-68 to 1975-76. The team was one of six expansion teams in 1967-68 that doubled the league in size from the ‘Original Six’.

Test and expand your knowledge of the California Golden Seals with the following four hockey trivia questions.

Q. The Golden Seals franchise originally entered the NHL under what name?

A. For the first three years that the franchise existed, they were dubbed the Oakland Seals. Originally, the plan was to be called the San Francisco Seals. They became the California Golden Seals and then the California Seals.

The ‘Seals’ nickname originated in 1961-62 with the San Francisco Seals of the WHL. That franchise played in the minor pro league from 1961-62 until 1966-67.

Q. What defenseman from the inaugural Seals team starred with the Toronto Maple Leafs the year before?

A. Bob Baun played one season with the Oakland Seals in 1967-68. The long time Toronto Maple Leafs blue liner played a major role as Toronto won the 1966-67 Stanley Cup with a victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Baun would eventually return to the Maple Leafs to finish his career but the Stanley Cup has yet to return to Toronto.

Other Original 6 castaways that played for Oakland in that first season include: Bill Hicke, Charlie Burns and Bert Marshall. The team’s goaltending duo was quite decent with Charlie Hodge doing the bulk of the work with Gary Smith as his backup. Another member of that 1967-68 Oakland team was Alain Caron. It was the only full NHL season for Caron but a few years later, he would score an amazing 78 goals in the North American Hockey League.

Q. After the 1975-76 season, to what city did the California Seals move to?

A. For the 1976-77 season, the California Seals moved to Cleveland, Ohio and became the Cleveland Barons. The Barons lasted just two seasons in the National Hockey League before merging with the Minnesota North Stars.

The North Stars were a struggling franchise at the time and were also one of the six 1967 expansion teams. In their second year after the Cleveland Barons ceased to exist, Minnesota reached the Stanley Cup semi-finals before losing to the Philadelphia Flyers. The following year, the North Stars marched right to the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the New York Islanders.

Minnesota would reach the Stanley Cup finals one more time in 1990-91, losing to Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins. After 1992-93, the franchise moved to Dallas to become the Dallas Stars. With Dallas, the franchise finally won a championship in 1998-99 over the Buffalo Sabres.

Q. Who did the Oakland Seals meet in their first Stanley Cup playoffs series?

A. In their second season, the Seals faced off against the Los Angeles Kings in the quarter-finals, losing in seven games to their California rivals. 1968-69 was the team’s best season in their short history with 29 wins and 69 points to finish second in the weak West Division. The team would make the playoffs just one more time, losing in the first round the following season to the Pittsburgh Penguins in four straight games.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hockey Trivia: 1971-72 Boston Bruins

bobby orr boston bruins o-pee-chee hockey cardBefore 2011, the 1972 Boston Bruins were the last to bring the Stanley Cup to Beantown. The 1971-72 Boston Bruins can be considered among the top National Hockey League teams of all time, losing just 13 of 78 games during the regular season and finishing ten points beyond the second place team before storming their way to the Stanley Cup victory.

Test and expand your hockey trivia knowledge of the 1972 Boston Bruins with the following four hockey trivia questions:

Q. What Bruins player was the team leader in both goals and points in 1971-72?

A. Phil Esposito, coming off a record 76 goals and 152 points in 1970-71, led the team with lower, but still impressive, numbers than the year before. Esposito finished out the year with 66 goals and 130 points.

There’s a bit of an asterix here as Esposito tied Bobby Orr for the team lead with 24 points during the playoffs. In the goals department, Esposito, John Bucyk and Ken Hodge all tied for the team lead in the post season with nine each. Assists? It was all Bobby Orr. Orr led the team during the regular season with 80 assists and led in the playoffs with 19.

Q. Each of the Boston Bruins goaltending tandem finished off the 1971-72 season with an equal 27 wins. Although Gerry Cheevers is thought of when the topic of Boston goaltenders from the 1970’s comes up, who was the goalie that platooned with Cheevers that season?

A. Eddie Johnston quietly had the same number of wins, although his goals against average was slightly higher than that of Gerry Cheevers. Johnston played in the National Hockey League from 1962-63 to 1977-78 with the Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. His days in Chicago were limited to the final four games of his Eddie’s NHL career.

Q. What team did the Boston Bruins beat in the finals to win the 1972 Stanley Cup?

A. The Bruins met the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals and won the series in four games. The Rangers finished second overall in the NHL during the regular season, ten points behind the Bruins. The Rangers took out the Montreal Canadiens in the quarter-finals then swept the Chicago Black Hawks in the semi-finals to earn the match-up against Boston.

Even though the teams had both been in the NHL since the mid 1920’s, it was just the second time Boston and New York met in the Stanley Cup finals. The previous time came in 1928-29 with the Bruins sweeping the best of three series in two games.

Q. The Boston Bruins lost just thirteen games in 1971-72. One team was responsible for nearly a quarter of those losses. Which team did Boston lose three games to in the regular season?

A. Not too shockingly, the Bruins lost three to the Montreal Canadiens. Interestingly, two of the thirteen losses came at the hands of the lowly California Golden Seals. Seven of the thirteen losses came against teams that finished the year below .500.