The California Hockey League, a minor pro circuit, is formed with four clubs: the Oakland Sheiks, the San Francisco Tigers, the Los Angeles Richfields and the Hollywood Millionaires. It lasts just five years.
The Pacific Coast Hockey League (which would become the Western Hockey League) begins play, including teams in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Oakland, Pasadena, San Diego and San Francisco.
May 27, 2013
In its initial expansion from six to 12 teams, the NHL locates two franchises in California: the Los Angeles Kings and the Oakland Seals.
Mike Lampman, who was born in Hamilton, Ont., but who moved to in Lakewood, Calif., when he was 12, becomes the first player from Southern California to be drafted by an NHL team when the Blues select the winger 111th overall.
The California Golden Seals—the Oakland franchise had changed its name the year before—make waves around the NHL by briefly sporting white skates.
The World Hockey Association, in addition to poaching a raft of NHL stars, introduces its own California club, the Los Angeles Sharks. They last only two seasons.
The Golden Seals relocate from Oakland to Cleveland and become the Barons, but the franchise continues to struggle and merges with the Minnesota North Stars two years later.
Kings center Marcel Dionne wins the Art Ross Trophy with an NHL-best 137 points, becoming the first scoring champion to play for a team west of Chicago.
Facing the heavily favored Oilers in Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs, Los Angeles erases a 5--0 deficit in the third period to win 6--5 in OT in what is known as the Miracle on Manchester. The Kings win the series in five games.
A tearful Wayne Gretzky is traded in August from Edmonton, where he had won four Stanley Cups, to the Kings in the most momentous deal in NHL history.
According to USA Hockey, there are about 4,800 registered players in the state of California.
The San Jose Sharks make their NHL debut; the team, along with winger Pat Falloon, will go on to lose a league-record 71 games in its second season.
On the heels of its 1992 hit movie The Mighty Ducks, the Walt Disney Company brings a team to Anaheim and calls it, naturally, the Mighty Ducks.
The number of registered players in California swells to about 15,500.
The Sharks trade Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart to the Bruins in November for center Joe Thornton (left), who scores a league-high 125 points and wins the Hart Trophy, the only MVP to be traded midseason.
The Ducks (who dropped Mighty from their name in '06) and captain Scott Niedermayer win the Stanley Cup, defeating the Senators in five games. They are the first Golden State team to hoist the Cup.
The number of registered players in California grows to approximately 24,000.
Los Angeles goes 10--1 on the road during its run to the Stanley Cup. The Kings are the first eight seed to win a championship.
The NHL announces that it will bring outdoor hockey to Southern California, staging a game at Dodger Stadium between the Kings and the Ducks on Jan. 25, 2014.