In 1978, the North Stars merged with the Cleveland Barons (formerly the California Golden Seals), owned by George III and Gordon Gund. With both teams on the verge of folding, the league permitted the two failing franchises to merge. The merged team continued as the Minnesota North Stars, while the Seals/Barons franchise records were retired. However, the Gunds were the merged team's principal owners, and the North Stars assumed the Barons' place in the Adams Division in order to balance out the divisions. The merger brought with it a number of talented players, and the North Stars were revived—they reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981, where they lost in five games to the New York Islanders. However, by the early 1990s, declining attendance and the inability to secure a new downtown revenue-generating arena led ownership to request permission to move the team to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1990. The league rejected the request and instead agreed to award an expansion franchise, the San Jose Sharks, to the Gund brothers. The North Stars were sold to a group of investors that were originally looking to place a team in San Jose, although one of the group's members, former Calgary Flames part-owner Norman Green, would eventually gain control of the team. In the following season, the North Stars made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins.