Concept: 50 Years of Seals Hockey

As we have entered the second half of the 2015-16 season, festivities and the like are being announced to celebrate the biggest year in NHL history, 2016-17. It just so happens that it's the 100th Anniversary of the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as the 50th anniversary of the first NHL expansion in 1967. Los Angeles, has already been announced as the host of the All-Star Game next year. It looks like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia will play each other in an outdoor game, with St. Louis hosting another game (possibly the Winter Classic). The Minnesota North Stars franchise moved to Dallas early in the 90's so they are excluded for most events. That leaves one team, the forgotten team in all of this. The short-tenured Oakland Seals..err.. California Seals...err.. California Golden Seals franchise. 

But what if they never went away? 

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks still happened, due to the success of the Kings and Seals in their respective California markets, but the San Jose Sharks were an afterthought, four teams in California would kill the league all together.

 

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After finally deciding to change their name to the Golden State Seals midway through the 1980's, they built around the first identity that they could grasp onto. They didn't change much of their uniforms until the 90's where they experimented with a few things, including being included in the 1996-97 Third Jersey Campaign, where gradients were king. The Seals claimed it was a "Sunrise" design, but perhaps they should have seen it more as a "Sunset" as they only lasted 4 games, after being widely panned by everyone. As you'll see below there is an artist's rendering of the uniform, because all photography of it was burned immediately after.

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As the Seals moved into the 21st Century, they knew they had to do something to update their uniforms. The only real change they had made since the 70's was putting the logo on the front of the uniform instead of the "Seals" wordmark. They were afraid to change their identity, in fear that people would not recognize them as well in California, and hurt their brand. However, they decided to take a page out of their co-arena tenants, the Golden State Warriors and change their colours to blue/yellow to create a brand for the Oakland/San Francisco area to share in. Hence, the new branding with the blue and yellow was born. The Golden State Warriors would follow two years later.

The anniversary logo was added to the shoulders of the uniform.

The new branding in 2006, was just the home/away uniforms. The "alternate" was added in 2017 to pay tribute to 50 years of Seals hockey.