San Jose, California Doug Wilson announced today that he is stepping down as General Manager of the San Jose Sharks.
“The past 19 years as General Manager of San Jose Fish have been a privilege and one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable periods of my life,” Wilson said. “I have been incredibly fortunate to work with and with some of the most talented and passionate people in the game of hockey.
“I would like to thank Hasso Blattner, along with our previous ownership groups, for the incredible opportunity and confidence they have placed in myself and our team. I would also like to thank all the coaches, players, scouts, coaches and members of the hockey department I have worked with over these many years for their dedication and commitment. To our organization. I would like to thank the huge fans of the San Jose Sharks series. Your enthusiasm and support for this team is unparalleled, and I will cherish the shared memories we built together over nearly two decades.
“I would not have been able to serve in this role for so long without the unconditional love and support of my family, especially my wife Cathy. The sacrifices they made to allow me to pursue this opportunity were so selfless and I cannot thank enough.
“Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has reached out to me during my leave of absence. While I have made significant progress over the past several months, I feel it is in the best interest of the organization and for stepping down from my current duties and focusing on my health and full recovery. I look forward to continuing my NHL career in the future.”
Wilson, who was appointed general manager on May 13, 2003, has strategically built the Sharks into an elite NHL franchise through aggressive drafting, smart trades and timely free agent contracts. Under his supervision, only the Pittsburgh Penguins (768) and the Boston Bruins (762) have won more regular season games than Sharks (760), and only Boston (1,708) and Pittsburgh (1686) have accumulated more ranking points than Sharks (1,686).
The Sharks have qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs 14 times under Wilson, including ten consecutive games (2004-2014). Between 2003-04 and 2019-20, (excluding the brief closing season in 2012-13), the Sharks averaged 45.6 wins per season and 100.7 points per year under his guidance.
Additionally, Pittsburgh has only featured in the Stanley Cup playoff rounds (31) compared to the Sharks (30) since 2003-04. Under Wilson’s direction, the Sharks have captured the President’s Cup (2009), five Pacific Division titles (2004, 2008-11), advanced to the Western Conference Finals on five occasions (2004, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2019) and made one final appearance Stanley Cup (2016).
During his tenure, Wilson negotiated several mega deals to bring some of the game’s elite and most sought after players to the Sharks organization, including Joe Thornton (2005), Dan Boyle (2008), Danny Heatley (2009), Brent Burns (2011) and Eric Carlson (2018).
On the draft table, Wilson and his staff have handpicked an impressive roster of future NHL stars, including Milan Michalek, Joe Pavelsky (2003), Devin Setoguchi and Mark Edward Vlasic (2005), Logan CoutureAnd the Nick Bonino and Justin Brown (2007), Charlie Coyle (2010), Thomas Hertle (2012), Timo Meyer (2015) and Mario Ferraro (2017).
Due to the team’s continued strong performance in the regular season, since 2003, the Sharks have held the lowest average draft position among all NHL clubs (128.0), nearly four points below the next lowest club. Despite this average drafting position, which includes only five of the top 10 picks (Michalek/6th; Setoguchi/8; Couture/9; Meier/9; Eklund/7) and none higher than the sixth overall, the top picks occupy San Jose ranks seventh in games played, sixth in goals, tenth in points and 13th in assists among all NHL teams.
In his 18-plus seasons leading the Sharks, Wilson made the all-time NHL roster among the GMs. On January 26, 2017, Wilson joined the Elite Club, becoming the fourth only player to play in 1,000 NHL hockey games and serve as an NHL club general manager for at least 1,000 games. The only other people to have achieved this feat are Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Clarke, Bob Gainey, and Bob Pulford (it has since been accomplished by Bob Murray).
On October 8, 2019, he served his 1,200th game as general manager and five days later, overtook Con Smith (682) for 19th on the all-time NHL win list. He achieved his 700th win on January 4, 2020 and is currently 14th on the all-time general manager win list (760). Wilson ranks seventh on the NHL list of all-time GMs for most wins in a single franchise and is one of two active NHL GMs to have served at least 1,300 games with the current NHL Club (David Poile, 1799 with Nashville). He was the second longest serving General Manager in the NHL with their current team (behind Poile) and had the fourth longest serving among all active NHL General Managers (behind Poile, Lou Lamoriello and Ken Holland).
Wilson joined Sharks’ Hockey Operations division as Director of Professional Development in 1997-1998 and worked in this role until he was appointed General Manager.
As a player, Wilson was acquired by the Sharks prior to the team’s inaugural season in 1991, bringing instant credibility and respect to the young franchise. He played two seasons with the Sharks, where he served as the first captain of the organization and scored 48 points (12 goals, 36 assists) in 86 games. He was the team’s first representative in the NHL All-Star Game (1991-92) and played in his 1,000th NHL game on November 21, 1992, becoming the 77th player in league history to accomplish this feat. In addition, he was nominated for the Sharks Award for the King Clancy Award twice (1992 and 1993), which have been presented for leadership and humanitarian contributions on and off the ice.
Before coming to San Jose, Wilson established himself as one of the most dynamic defenders to have played a game with the Chicago Blackhawks. Among all-time NHL defenders, Wilson ranks 12th in goals (237), 15th in points (827) and 18th in assists (590). In addition, he holds the fourth-highest single-season record for goals scored by a man of defense (39, in 1981-82), and is tied for ninth among defensemen for the most points per game (.81, 500 games at least), and 12 for most professional picks (3296).
In 1982, Wilson captured the James Norris Cup as the best defense in the NHL and was named the first NHL All-Star team after scoring 85 points (39 goals, 46 assists) in 76 games, and leading all defenders in goals. He finished the race in the top five in the Norris Cup voting three more times. Wilson was named to the NHL All-Star Game eight times and was named to the second NHL All-Star team in 1985 and 1990.
Between 1979-1991, Wilson scored 719 points for a defending man who ranked behind fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Paul Coffey and Ray Burke.
Wilson began his illustrious hockey career after being selected sixth overall by the Black Hawks in the 1977 NHL Draft. The powerful Blueliner appeared in 938 NHL games with Chicago from 1977-1991, collecting 779 points (225 goals, 554 assists). decisive) with a rating of +121.
In the Blackhawks’ all-time franchise lists, Wilson ranks 9th in games played, 7th in points, 4th in assists, and 15th in goals. Among the defenders of the Blackhawks franchise, it ranks first in goals, points, assists, and points per game (.83, at least 300 games), and fourth in games played.
He played in 1,024 NHL regular season games with the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks,
Wilson also appeared in 95 Stanley Cup games with Chicago, scoring 80 points (19 goals, 61 assists) with an 11-plus rating and an average of 0.84 points per game. He ranks first in points per game, second in assists and points, tied for second in goals, and seventh in games played between franchise defenders in the post-season.
Wilson announced his retirement as a hockey player prior to the 1993-94 season.
At the international level, Wilson represented Canada in the 1984 Canada Cup, winning the gold medal, and in the 87th meeting against the Soviet Union.
Wilson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 Class on November 15, 2021. He is also a member of three Regional Sports Halls of Fame; Ottawa (entered October 1998), Chicago (inserted September 1999), and San Jose (inserted November 2016). The Ottawa 67s also honored their stellar career by retiring their No. 7 jacket.