No, the Sharks’ alternate jerseys for the upcoming season aren’t going to resemble those worn by the California Seals in the mid-1970s.
That’s what Sharks team president Jonathan Becher tweeted Thursday morning, a few hours after pictures of what the team’s purported third jerseys would look like next season began to make the rounds on social media.
The jerseys were rumored to look like the ones the Seals wore from 1974 to 1976, with pacific blue as the primary color with gold trim, before the franchise relocated from Oakland to Cleveland. Instead of the word ‘Seals,’ the rumored alternate jerseys would say, ‘Sharks’ in that same unique font.
“Entertained by the alternate jerseys designs on social media labeled as based on inside info,” Becher tweeted. “We have creative fans! None of these designs are real.”
The Seals were the Bay Area’s first NHL team, coming into the league in 1967 when it expanded from six teams to 12. Although the Seals’ ownership, color scheme and logo changed frequently over the course of their nine-year existence in Oakland, their record on the ice usually ranged from mediocre to poor.
This, apparently, will be the @SanJoseSharks third jersey next season. A nice touch – replica of the California Seals uniforms in their final two #NHL seasons: 1974-75 and 1975-76. pic.twitter.com/50fWHIMA8q
— Howard Berger (@Berger_BYTES) October 22, 2020
The Oakland Seals made the playoffs just twice in nine years, in 1969 and 1970, and lost in the first round both times. Charlie Finley, the frugal owner of the Oakland A’s at the time, bought the team in 1970 and changed its colors from green with blue trim to Kelly Green and gold, just like the A’s. The team was also renamed the California Golden Seals.
Finley sold the team to the NHL in 1974. The word ‘Golden’ was dropped from the team’s name and the Seals’ dominant color became pacific blue.
Much more information about the Seals’ history can be found here.
On Jan. 7, 2017, before a game with the Detroit Red Wings, the Sharks recognized the 50th anniversary of the Seals’ and the NHL’s arrival in the Bay Area. Former Seals players that were part of the event included Gilles Meloche, Dennis Maruk and Bert Marshall.
The Sharks have used their “stealth” black jerseys as their alternates since the start of the 2018-19 season.