Oakland to Cleveland, 1976 / Relo Rating: 1
One of six NHL expansion teams of 1967, this hard-luck club never stopped trying to reinvent itself, from its name to its location. Playing first in San Francisco’s Cow Palace and then the Oakland (Indoor) Coliseum during its west coast tenure, the team name went from the California Seals to the Oakland Seals to the California Golden Seals to finally (and tragically) the Cleveland Barons. Despite a seemingly smart move to a colder, more hockey-friendly climate, the most prescient aspect of this relo was the name choice: a near-homophone of “barren,” which is what its coffers were, forcing the team into bankruptcy and a merger with the Minnesota North Stars after the 1977-78 season. The Barons remain the last team in the Big 4 American sports to simply cease operations.