California Golden Seals 1974 NHL Draft Recap

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1974 marked the start of the ultimate two seasons for California Golden Seals hockey. The NHL took over possession of the struggling franchise in January of that 12 months. A lot would change for the staff from that time ahead, together with their eventual relocation.

The membership adopted new colours heading in 1974. The Seals switched from their extra broadly used forest inexperienced and “golden” yellow shade scheme, to what has since for a lot of develop into the extra common turquoise and gold. Ultimately they might even garner new possession from San Francisco resort proprietor Mel Swig mid-season.

We all know now that the steps the Seals took to enhance their staff tradition and efficiency would fall brief. The staff would in the end transfer east and develop into the Cleveland Barons starting in 1976-77, earlier than disbanding totally after simply two seasons.

However within the late-spring of 1974, there was nonetheless hope and ideas of a recent begin. Heck, even the brand new colours the Seals selected had been brisker and (maybe) unintentionally vital of a brand new starting.

The California Golden Seals would change their uniform colours to turquoise and gold starting with the 1974-75 NHL season (Photograph by Bruce Bennett Studios by way of Getty Photos Studios/Getty Photos).

A method {that a} hockey membership can all the time breathe in new life is thru the NHL Draft. When 1974’s NHL Beginner Draft was held in Montreal, Quebec, the Seals appeared to do fairly effectively. They chose 9 whole gamers, together with two 1st-rounders. 5 of the 9 would have NHL careers, and three would debut for the Seals that very same season.

Finally although, the brand new faces weren’t sufficient to proper the ship.

THW seems again on the 9 totally different gamers that California drafted in 1974. We are going to delve into every of the Seals’ choices, and the way they in the end panned out throughout their time with the group and past.

The Composition of the Seals on the Time

To have a greater understanding of California’s draft picks we’ve got to first check out how the staff was already comprised. This can assist to clarify why they chose who they did.

Previous to the draft happening, the 1973-74 Golden Seals had simply completed useless final within the NHL with an abysmal 13-55-10 document. These mere 36 factors had been the worst efficiency by the membership in its complete 9-year historical past. The 342 targets they allowed had been additionally a franchise worst.

Issues weren’t about to get any higher. The Seals had been within the means of being added to the newly shaped Adams Division for the 1974-75 season, which additionally included the highly effective Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres, in addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

All that being mentioned, California nonetheless had various shiny spots on their roster – particularly their goaltender.

Netminder Gilles Meloche performed 18 seasons within the NHL and gained 270 video games. Had he performed for a staff just like the Montreal Canadiens or Boston Bruins, he probably would have gained a minimum of one Stanley Cup as a participant (he finally gained a number of as a Pittsburgh Penguins workers member effectively after he had retired).

Because it turned out, Meloche is arguably the most effective participant in NHL historical past to have by no means been a part of a legit contender. Meloche all the time stored the Seals’ win-loss document from being a lot worse, and was the NHL’s chief in pictures in opposition to, saves and minutes performed throughout California’s 1972-73 marketing campaign.

Due to this fact, goaltending was probably not a necessity for the Seals’ scouting workers in 1974.

Charlie Simmer California Golden Seals
A California Golden Seals ahead creates havoc in entrance of Minnesota North Stars goalie Pete LoPresti (Photograph Credit score: 1975 press photograph launch).

Ahead Joey Johnston led the 1973-74 Seals in targets (27), assists (40) and factors (67). He accomplished his second straight 25-plus purpose season for the Seals, and was slated to be their most quintessential scorer heading into 1974-75. As loopy because it is perhaps to assume, Johnston was the one one of many Seals’ 4 20-plus scorers from the ’73-’74 squad to stay with staff the subsequent season.

Clearly this meant that California would wish to accumulate some offense that might contribute proper from the get-go.

However additionally they very a lot wanted protection. Of the seven blueliners who suited up for the Seals in 1973-74, solely three would return the subsequent season – Ted McAneeley, Bob Stewart and Terry Murray. Of these three, neither McAneeley nor Murray would even play 10 video games in ’74-’75. A significant overhaul wanted to occur to California’s again finish.

In flip, for the 9 choices the Seals made on the ’74 draft, 4 had been D-men and 4 had been forwards. Of the 4 forwards, one was deemed to have a extremely potent scoring contact that simply by no means materialized on the NHL stage, whereas one of many blueliners was slated to be one other star within the making.

Listed here are the gamers that the Seals ended up choosing:

Rick Hampton (First Spherical, third Total)

Rick Hampton was a highly-touted defender who would finally transfer as much as left wing. When the Seals chosen him although, the notion was that if Hampton was not one other Bobby Orr or a Brad Park, then he would a minimum of be the Seals model of an Ian Turnbull or a Pat Stapleton.

Sadly, whereas Hampton was an honest participant in his personal proper, he was not the top-2 defenseman that the Seals had projected him to be. That was regardless of him going 25-25-50 for scoring in 65 video games for the St. Catharines Black Hawks in his closing 12 months of OHA junior hockey.

Rick Hampton California Golden Seals
The Golden Seals made Rick Hampton the third total number of the 1974 NHL Draft (Photograph Credit score: 1975-76 California Golden Seals Media Information).

Hampton would instantly go well with up for California. He would play in 78 of the membership’s 80 common season video games in 1974-75, and was their main scorer amongst blueliners (8-17-25). Hampton’s numbers can be even higher in his sophomore marketing campaign with the Seals. He would set profession highs in assists (37) and factors (51) in 73 video games. These 51 factors are a Seals’ staff document for a defenseman.

Hampton remained with the membership for its’ two seasons because the Barons as soon as they relocated. Taking part in extra in order a ahead, he would put forth 16 and 18 targets for each go-rounds in Cleveland. Following that although, Hampton’s inventory finally dropped, as he by no means turned an elite expertise at both the ahead or protection place.

He would wrap up his NHL enjoying time with the Los Angeles Kings, starting in 1978-79. Nonetheless, in two seasons Hampton solely performed 52 common season video games for L.A.

He would end his enjoying profession with two seasons within the minors and one in Switzerland. Hampton retired from enjoying after 21 video games with the Rochester Individuals in 1983-84.

Ron Chipperfield (First Spherical, seventeenth Total)

Ron Chipperfield had an nice hockey profession, however simply not within the NHL. When the Seals chosen him within the back-half of the opening spherical, there was each motive to consider that he can be a star expertise.

Chipperfield scored a staggering 90 targets, 72 assists and 162 factors in solely 66 video games for the 1973-74 Brandon Wheat Kings in junior. This gained him WCHL scoring title and MVP award, and his 90 tallies had been the league’s purpose document on the time. This additionally marked Chipperfield’s third straight 100-point season for the Wheat Kings.

The rival WHA’s Vancouver Blazers additionally drafted the proficient centerman similtaneously the Seals. Chipperfield – like lots of his contemporaries – opted to go the WHA route. He would be a part of the Blazers for the 1974-75 season, and relocated with them when the membership turned the Calgary Cowboys.

The Minnedosa Bomber Ron Chipperfield is the #BWK All Time main purpose scorer – 261 between ’70-74 #FlashbackFriday https://t.co/EuWUHfrkSt

Chipperfield signed with the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers in 1977-78 as a free agent following the folding of the Cowboys. There he would find yourself being teammates with eventual authentic NHL Oilers’ “Cowboy” Invoice Flett, Blair MacDonald, Dave Semenko, Brett Callighen, and naturally, “The Nice One” Wayne Gretzky.

Most overlook that after the Oilers joined the NHL in 1979-80, Chipperfield was the staff’s authentic staff captain. However on Mar. 11, 1980, Edmonton traded him to the Quebec Nordiques in alternate for goaltender Ron Low. Chipperfield would move the 20-goal plateau with the Nordiques following the commerce, however performed a mere 4 video games in 1980-81.

He would take his recreation to Italy the place he would rating 175 targets, 132 assists and 307 factors in solely 84 video games for HC Bolzano from 1981-82 by way of 1983-84. Chipperfield helped Bolzano to 3 straight Italian championships, and would find yourself head coach of the staff from 1984-85 by way of 1987-88.

Bruce Affleck (Second Spherical, twenty first Total)

Bruce Affleck California Golden Seals
Whereas Bruce Affleck could have been a 2nd-round number of the Seals, he by no means performed a recreation for them and spent the majority of his NHL profession with the St. Louis Blues (Photograph Credit score: 1974-75 Seals Media Information).

Bruce Affleck’s time with the Seals group was very short-lived, however he would find yourself having each an honest enjoying profession and a stable govt position with the St. Louis Blues.

The 6-foot, 190-pound defender would start his skilled profession with the Seals’ CHL minor league affiliate the Salt Lake Golden Eagles. Affleck generated 14 assists in 35 video games for the membership, however would find yourself being traded from the Seals to the Blues on Jan. 1, 1975 in alternate for hulking ahead Frank Spring and money.

Spring would find yourself debuting for the Seals following the commerce, and Affleck would do the identical in St. Louis. The Blues actually obtained the higher finish of the deal although, as Affleck would develop into a mainstay on their blue line for the subsequent three seasons

After stops as a participant with the Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Swiss groups, and quite a few minor league groups, Affleck retired following the 1983-84 season. He would finally return to the Blues as a member of their gross sales workers.

Working diligently with the group for a few years, Affleck is presently the Blues’ Government Vice President – a task he has held since Jun. 16, 2014.

Charlie Simmer (Third Spherical, thirty ninth Total)

Standing an imposing 6-foot-3 and at 210 kilos, ahead Charlie Simmer was a a lot bigger ahead than most of his contemporaries. Of any of the gamers that the Seals chosen in 1974, Simmer ended up having essentially the most star energy. This, nonetheless, wouldn’t come to fruition till after he had departed from the Seals/Barons group.

Charlie Simmer California Golden Seals
Charlie Simmer finally turned a two-time 56-goal scorer within the NHL, however by no means scored greater than eight in his two seasons for the Seals (Photograph Credit score: 1975-76 California Golden Seals Media Information).

California chosen Simmer following a season of scoring 45-54-99 in 70 video games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHA). He would make his NHL debut in late-December 1974. Taking part in in opposition to the Boston Bruins on Dec. 27, Simmer scored a purpose and an help in his very first recreation for the Seals.

He would break up each the 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons between the Seals and the Salt Lake Golden Eagles. In 56 whole video games for California, Simmer would find yourself scoring 9 targets, 14 assists and 23 factors.

The sizable winger remained with the group after they relocated to Cleveland, however scored only a pair of targets in 24 video games in 1976-77. What would result in Simmer’s breakthrough was his signing as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings on Aug. 8, 1977.

With the Kings, Simmer would finally be partnered with middle Marcel Dionne and proper wing Dave Taylor to type one the best traces in hockey historical past, “The Triple Crown Line”. Simmer would rating back-to-back seasons of 56 targets in 1979-80 and 1980-81. That very same 1980-81, Simmer, Dionne and Taylor would develop into the primary ahead line in NHL historical past to have all three of its members surpass 100 factors in a season.

By the point his NHL profession got here to a detailed after the 1987-88 season, Simmer was nearly precisely a point-per-game participant (342-369-711 in 712 video games). With a Invoice Masterton Trophy and two First All-Star Crew choices to his credit score, he’s additionally the one participant from the 1974 Seals’ draft class that has the numbers and the accolades that make for Corridor of Famer dialogue, although actually not a shoo-in.

Tom Worth (Fourth Spherical, 57th Total)

Tom Price California Golden Seals
Defenseman Tom Worth would play a mere 29 video games within the NHL, solely 8 of which had been in a Golden Seals uniform (Photograph Credit score: 1975-76 California Golden Seals Media Information).

4th-rounder Tom Worth was the one different Seals choice to have an NHL profession. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound defender got here from Toronto, Ontario, and performed his junior hockey within the OHA for each the London Knights and the Ottawa 67s.

The Seals would insert Worth into their lineup in late November of 1974. His 3-game stint would come with a pair of video games in opposition to divisional rivals the Boston Bruins, and one in opposition to the Minnesota North Stars. Worth would go pointless within the three appearances, and ended up spending the vast majority of the season in Salt Lake.

He would make 5 extra appearances in a Seals uniform in the course of the 1975-76 season. The membership known as him up from Salt Lake for a string of video games that February. As soon as once more Worth wouldn’t be an element on the scoresheet, and got here away as a minus-9.

Like Hampton and Simmer, he would stay with the group when the staff relocated to Cleveland. Worth would make simply two appearances for the Barons in 1976-77, and can be launched by the staff on Feb. 17, 1977. 9 days later he can be signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins with whom he would document his first and solely NHL factors – a pair of assists that very same season after becoming a member of his new staff.

Jim Warden (Fifth Spherical, seventy fifth Total)

Goaltender Jim Warden was the one netminder that the Seals chosen in 1974. An American from Detroit, Michigan, he had been a standout for Michigan Tech.

Not instantly making a soar to the skilled recreation, Warden remained at Michigan Tech for an additional season after he was drafted. Doing so enabled him to develop into a 1975 NCAA champion, and be named the Most Beneficial Participant whereas profitable the nationwide title.

A giant goaltender for his technology,
Warden stood 6-foot-3 and was simply shy of 200 kilos. Whereas he would finally
have an expert profession within the CHL for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Phoenix
Roadrunners, and Oklahoma Metropolis Stars, his foremost declare to fame was his time spent
with the U.S. Males’s Nationwide Crew.

Warden backstopped Crew USA on the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. He performed in all 5 video games for the Individuals who completed fifth on the match. A few of Warden’s teammates included future NHLers Steve Jensen, Bob Miller and Dan Bolduc, in addition to “Miracle on Ice” member Buzz Schneider.

Warden by no means performed an NHL recreation, however
remains to be well-regarded for his Olympic efficiency.

Tom Sundberg (Sixth Spherical, 93rd Total)

Left-winger Tom Sundberg was one other American-born participant chosen by the Seals. At 6-foot-2 and simply shy of 200 kilos, the St. Paul native performed his school hockey on the College of Minnesota. Like Warden, considered one of Sundberg’s teammates was Buzz Schneider.

Sundberg would take up professional hockey after the Seals drafted him. Sadly, his profession was not a very prolonged one and he by no means made an NHL roster. Moreover, he fell sufferer to a few of Seals’ proprietor Swig’s mismanagement of gamers’ contracts.

Sundberg performed elements of 4 seasons for the Golden Eagles in CHL, splitting the primary two of which with the IHL’s Toledo Goaldiggers. He can be performed enjoying skilled hockey after the 1977-78 season.

Tom Anderson (Seventh Spherical, 111th Total)

One other St. Paul, Minnesotan was taken with the Seals very subsequent decide. Gifted defender Tom Anderson possessed a scoring contact and was able to shifting the puck effectively. This choice by the Seals gave the impression to be a pleasant stab at a participant who may probably be a “diamond within the tough” – particularly at this late within the draft.

Anderson opted to not go the skilled route after being chosen. As a substitute, he would end up his collegiate profession at Minnesota State College (Mankato). There he captained the Mavericks throughout his senior 1976-77 NCAA season.

Anderson would go professional in 1977-78, however his skilled profession can be the briefest of any of the 9 draft picks. He would play a mere 12 video games for the Phoenix Roadrunners that season earlier than calling it a profession.

Jim McCabe (Eighth Spherical, 128th Total)

Jim McCabe Toledo Goaldiggers
Jim McCabe was a 2-time Turner Cup champion with the Toledo Goaldiggers (Photograph Credit score: Toledo Goaldiggers 1977-78 Fan Membership Awards Banquet Program).

Jim McCabe ended up having a extremely profitable skilled profession within the IHL for the Toledo Goaldiggers. Aside from one lone recreation for the AHL’s Maine Mariners in his closing season, McCabe performed his complete professional profession for Toledo.

California took a shot after they made him their closing number of the draft. McCabe was the second-leading scorer for the 1973-74 Welland Sabres of the outdated Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League (SOJHL). With 46 targets, 69 assists and 115 factors in simply 59 video games, it made sense for the Seals to a minimum of give the middle a attempt.

Although he by no means cracked an NHL roster, he would assemble a superb skilled profession simply the identical.

McCabe instantly joined the Goaldiggers within the autumn following the 1974 Draft. He scored a minimum of 20 targets in every of his six IHL seasons. McCabe led Toledo in targets in 1978-79 with 40 targets in 79 video games, whereas additionally performing double-duty as an assistant coach.

Most significantly, McCabe helped the Goaldiggers win the Turner Cup championship in each 1974-75 and 1977-78. He had compiled 169 targets, 236 assists, and 405 factors in 429 IHL video games.

Afterthoughts…

The Golden Seals didn’t do horrible with their 1974 draft choices. We are going to rating them round a B-/C+ for his or her efforts – a passing rating, however nothing spectacular. The lackluster performances by a few of these picks stems extra so from a poor use of property. For instance, the Seals’ group severed ties with the likes Simmer, Affleck and maybe Sundberg far too quickly.

Hindsight is all the time 20/20, however what really hurts on reflection is the number of Hampton at third total and Chipperfield at seventeenth. The gamers who the Seals may have chosen as a substitute included Hockey Corridor of Famers Clark Gillies (4th), Bryan Trottier (twenty second), and Mark Howe (twenty fifth), in addition to 50-goal scorers Pierre Larouche (eighth), Man Chouinard (twenty eighth), and Danny Gare (twenty ninth).

Any of these aforementioned gamers may have conceivably turned the California’s fortunes round. With the picks accessible to them to take action, simply think about if the Seals had chosen Bryan Trottier and Danny Gare, as a substitute of Rick Hampton and Ron Chipperfield. However alas…



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