On Wednesday, 62-year-old Doug Wilson received the call of a lifetime while splashing around the pool with his grandchildren. On his 24th year of eligibility, the current San Jose Sharks general manager was informed that he was selected to be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Although it was his wife who spoke with Lanny McDonald (Board Chairman of the HHOF), the excitement shone through the former 16-year NHL veteran on a virtual media call later in the day.
“There are so many players who I feel deserved this honour either equal or more than me,” Wilson said. “But the timing, I didn’t even think about it, the call caught me off guard… This as an opportunity for me to thank all the people that have been so kind to me over the years, and how good this game has been to me. But it starts and ends with my wife. And for you to make this call, Lanny, and for her to hear it from you makes everything worthwhile.”
The Ottawa, ON. product spent time in his development years in Manitoba, suiting up for the Winnipeg Clubs of the old WCHL in 1973-74, where he put up nine goals, 31 points and 38 penalty minutes in 52 total games played, while attending Winnipeg’s Westwood High School. Wilson’s time with the Clubs helped set the stage for a dominant three-year career in the OMJHL with the Ottawa 67’s, where he put up 80 goals and 254 points in just 156 games. He was drafted sixth overall by Chicago in 1977.
Wilson – who won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman in 1982 – put up 237 goals and 827 career points in 1,024 games, and had nine seasons of 50+ points in his career. Of his 16 NHL seasons, 14 were played with the Chicago Blackhawks, and two with the San Jose Sharks. He ranks first among Blackhawks defensemen in goals (225), assists (554) and points (779).
Upon retirement, Wilson joined the Sharks’ front office and has been the team’s GM since 2003. By way of trade, the crafty executive has since acquired Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, Joe Thornton, Martin Jones and Dan Boyle, amongst others, while continuing to draft high-caliber talent. He is one of just four players to have played in the NHL for over 1,000 games as well as serve as a GM for over 1,000 games.