When Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley bought the Oakland Seals in 1970, there were big changes in store for the franchise.
The most noticeable was a change in uniforms, which included a change in the skates the team wore. The Seals were outfitted in "Kelly green, California gold and polar bear white" uniforms to match Finley's baseball team. Since the A's wore white cleats, Finley wanted the Seals to wear white skates.
The players objected, since back in the early 1970s, the only white skates being produced were figure skates, not hockey skates.
Finley settled for green and gold colored skates in 1970-71, which looked very colorful but didn't go over well.
In 1971-72, Finley insisted and ended up getting his white hockey skates. Of course, the skates weren't actually white; they were painted white by the team's trainers.
Because skates hit pucks, sticks and the boards, the white paint would get scuffed and scraped up.
Finley insisted on having the skates look "perfect" and the trainers had to touch them up after every game. By the end of a 78-game schedule, the skates actually got heavier as more and more paint was applied.
The reaction of fans was hardly surprising. Seals defenseman Marshall Johnston recalled being yelled at by fans when the team was on the road: "Hey, Johnston, where's your purse." (See the book "Shorthanded: The Untold Story of the Seals, Hockey's Most Colorful Team.")
The Seals wore the white skates in various forms until February of 1974, when Finley sold the team to the NHL. Finley sold them at a profit. One of the first things management did afterward was abandon the use of the white skates.