The California Golden Seals




Peace and Healing

NHL Expansion was for the best, and Unionization

Canada California Michigan Ontario The West

So all these canadian northers head on down to the jobs in california Hockey Player Gene Umbriaco

Land of wonder, California, often portrayed a warmer Mediterreanean in the media, is actually a country

Here is my impressionist expertise on California, multipersonality icon that it is.

In the early 90s in Vancouver at the big glass gallery of the university of british columbia there was an art exhibit that amazed me as much as any ever has. They presented art from first nations all over north america contemporaneously with art from all over Asia, geographically and through the same periods of time. Correspondenes were amazing, and the art was so fantastic. Not to mention that so many spirits in the art presented have ongoingly filtered through everything from heel to dream in so many alive and the future, which remains the most dazzling time of all.

But as much as California already was, as infinite as it was, it continues to be.

And into this came the hockey team. The Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons.

Who don’t exist, but are remembered with love, interest and curiousity, like random fate always is.

Loved, life, gorgeous intense pleasures, and howling griefs, loved.

Was Moxey drafted before they were the barons, or even before the seals became golden? My favorite California player of all time was Walt McKechnie. Like the proto-Sittler, he was the King of Hockey in London, which has almost never had pro teams, always the London Knights excellent Junior A team. Because Windsor played them so often, and Sittler and McKechnie and Brad Marsh and Rob Ramage played so valiantly against Windsor’s goon squad tactics, they had my real respect. Marsh, perhaps most of all, the valiant champion of Marsh hockey.

But only Walter McKechnie was the California Golden Seals impressive centre, wondrous on latenight Red Wing broadcasts, or on the radio, and then suddenly the Leafs had acquired him. And he performed perfectly, like a guy who’d seen Orland Kurtenback play, and Dave Keon, and George Armstrong, and respected. I think McKechnie had a hat trick in a game in California against Toronto on the radio one night, but the Detroit games on Channel 50 were certainly a new vista, and reception was better later at night.

The wonderful west. A thousand things at once, Jim Morrison, the sparkle of Oakland, Jeffers poetry, baseball and San Jose, San Diego, beloved friends, over  a million families, larger than Canada, legally part of Mexico, but never removed from the natives. A dolphin paradise. A universe of imported water and electricity but not as fine a place to gamble as ah, I don’t gamble myself, you hope for what you hope for, thats your whole wager.

Back then the Seals it just seemed impossible they’d ever win. Tremendous players went through there, Gilles Meloche, Dick Redmond, Carol Vadnais, Gene Umbriaco, but it was never to be. Anaheim’s win in later years so surreal.


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