Rarely has a member of the hockey world
experienced the level of success and longevity on
and off the ice as Sharks General Manager Doug
On Jan. 26, 2017, Wilson entered an extremely
elite club, becoming only the fourth individual to
play in 1,000 NHL hockey games and to serve as
a general manager of an NHL club for at least 1,000 games. The only others to
accomplish the feat are Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Clarke, Bob Gainey and Bob
Following a 16-year career as one of the NHL’s most dynamic defensemen,
Wilson was named the San Jose Sharks general manager on May 13, 2003.
Since that time, he has strategically built the Sharks into one of the National Hockey
League’s elite franchises through strong drafting, shrewd trades and timely free
Beginning with the 2003 NHL Draft, Doug Wilson’s first as general manager,
and through the 2017 draft, Sharks draft selections have played the fifth-most
games of any NHL team’s draft picks (10,411) and posted the fifth-most goals
(1,693) in that span, despite the organization having the lowest average draft
position of any NHL team during that span (129.75).
In his 14 seasons in charge of the Sharks hockey department, Wilson has guided
the franchise to its most successful era, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance
(2016), capturing a Presidents’ Trophy (2009), five Pacific Division titles (2004,
2008-2011), advancing to the Western Conference Final on four occasions (2004,
2010, 2011, 2016) and qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 13 of 14 seasons.
During his tenure as the Sharks general manager, only the Pittsburgh Penguins
have appeared in more Stanley Cup Playoff series (29) than San Jose (27). In
addition, the Sharks are first amongst all NHL teams in regular season points
(1,403 points, 635-346-133 record) and first in regular season wins. Since the
2003-04 season (not including the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season), the team
averaged 104 points per season and posted four 50-win seasons.
In his current role, Wilson, 61, has overall authority regarding all of Sharks Sports
& Entertainment’s hockey-related operations. He oversees all player personnel
decisions, negotiates player contracts, coordinates the efforts of the team’s scouting
department, leads the team in its draft day preparation and administers the club’s
player evaluation process at all professional, minor and junior levels.
Wilson also serves as one of the franchise’s alternate governors to the NHL’s
Board of Governors and is a member of the NHL’s Competition Committee.
Sharks Majority Owner Hasso Plattner has empowered Wilson with the autonomy
to ensure the Sharks remain amongst the NHL’s most competitive franchises. Working
within those parameters, Wilson has successfully negotiated some of the NHL’s largest
blockbuster trades over the past decade-plus, including acquiring Joe Thornton in
2005, Dan Boyle in 2008, Brent Burns in 2011 and Evander Kane in 2018.
Plattner also supported Wilson’s effort to strengthen the organization’s player
development system, approving the Sharks relocation of their American Hockey
League affiliate, the Barracuda, to San Jose. The move to California allows for
greater interaction, involvement and observation from San Jose’s development
coaches and eliminated the need to fly players across the United States in the event
of recalls and reassignments, adding valuable practice time. To accommodate the
new team, the Sharks undertook a large overhaul of Solar4America at San Jose
in 2015, constructing a brand new practice facility for the new AHL team, as well
as extensive renovations to the Sharks existing room, aimed to modernize both
The relocation has paid immediate dividends as the Barracuda finished the 2016-
17 season with the second-best winning percentage in the AHL (first in the Western
Conference), a Pacific Division championship and an appearance in the Western
Conference Final. In addition, following a concerted focus on reinvigorating the
organization’s prospect pool, several of the Barracuda players were recognized
with major awards and Head Coach Roy Sommer was named as the AHL’s Coach
of the Year.
Prior to being named the franchise’s general manager, Wilson spent six seasons
(1997-2003) as director of pro development. In that role, his responsibilities
included evaluating talent at all professional and minor league levels and continuous
assessment of the Sharks roster and reserve list. In addition, he provided valuable
input assisting in the club’s player development programs and consulting with the
hockey department on all major personnel issues, special assignments and contract
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Working closely with the entire hockey department, Wilson played a major role
in creating a positive atmosphere in the dressing room and an alluring team on-theice
in order to obtain and retain veteran free agents during the team’s re-building
period such as Vincent Damphousse, Mike Ricci, Gary Suter, Scott Thornton and
Wilson has accumulated a vast amount of multi-faceted hockey expertise
throughout his on-and-off the ice experiences. His older brother, Murray, played
seven NHL seasons, capturing four Stanley Cup Championships with the Montreal
Canadiens (1973, 1976-78). As a member of the Ontario Hockey League’s
Ottawa 67s, Wilson played for Hall of Famer Brian Kilrea, junior hockey’s all-time
winningest coach. During his tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks, Wilson was a
teammate of NHL legend Bobby Orr and a roommate with Hockey Hall of Famer
In 2004, Wilson participated in the NHL Game Committee, a panel of players,
coaches, executives and media responsible for examining all aspects of the game.
The committee, which initially met during the offseason, included Hall of Fame
coach Scotty Bowman and Pittsburgh Penguins chairman of the board Mario
Lemieux, among others.
As a player, following a stellar junior career with the Ottawa 67s, the Ottawa,
Ontario native was a first round draft choice (sixth overall) by the Chicago
Blackhawks in 1977. He played 16 NHL seasons, primarily with Chicago, before
finishing his career in San Jose. In 1,024 NHL games, he posted 827 points (237
goals, 590 assists) which ranks 15th among defensemen on the NHL’s all-time
scoring list. In 1982, he was the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy,
symbolic of the League’s top defenseman, when he tallied 85 points. His 39
goals that season remain the fourth-most ever scored by an NHL defenseman. He
finished amongst the top-5 in Norris Trophy voting three other times.
Wilson ranks fifth on the Blackhawks all-time points (779) and games played lists
(938), and among defensemen, he ranks first in points, goals (225; 15th overall)
and assists (554; third overall). He led all Blackhawks defensemen in scoring for
eight consecutive seasons (1980-81 thru 1989-90).
He was selected to eight NHL All-Star Games (seven with Chicago missed the
1988 game due to injury and one with San Jose) percentage in the AHL (first in
the Western Conference), a Pacific Division championship and an appearance
in the Western Conference Final. In addition, following a concerted focus on
reinvigorating the organization’s prospect pool, several of the Barracuda players
were recognized with major awards and Head Coach Roy Sommer was named as
the AHL’s Coach of the Year.
In addition, he played in 95 career playoff games with Chicago and scored 80
points (19 goals, 61 assists).
Acquired by San Jose just prior to the Sharks inaugural season in 1991, Wilson
brought instant credibility and respect to the young franchise. He played two
seasons for the Sharks, serving as the organization’s first captain and scoring 48
points (12 goals, 36 assists) in 86 games.
Additional highlights from Wilson’s Sharks career include being the team’s
first representative in an All-Star Game (1991-92), playing in his NHL-milestone
1,000th game on Nov. 21, 1992 (77th player in League history) and twice
being named the Sharks nominee for the King Clancy Award (1992 and 1993),
presented for leadership and humanitarian contributions both on-and-of the ice.
He formally announced his retirement from the NHL as a member of the Sharks
prior to the 1993-94 season.
Off the ice, Wilson has extensive experience working for and supporting the
National Hockey League Players’ Association. From 1993-97, he served as
coordinator of player relations and business development, where he was primarily
responsible for overseeing player relations, the development of business ventures
and managing international affairs. He served as the NHLPA’s president for the
1992-93 season and was a vice-president over eight seasons during his playing
Additionally, Wilson has a long history with Hockey Canada, serving on
the board of the Canadian Hockey Association. He served as a management
consultant for Canada’s entries in the 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 World Junior
Championship tournaments — resulting in four consecutive gold medal finishes.
Wilson is a member of three regional Sports Halls of Fame; Ottawa (inducted
Oct. 1998), Chicago (inducted Sept. 1999), and San Jose (inducted Nov. 2016).
The Ottawa 67s also honored his stellar career by retiring his No. 7 sweater.
Wilson serves on the Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Advisory Board.
Positive Coaching Alliance is a national non-profit developing “Better Athletes,
Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive,
character-building youth sports experience. He also formerly served on the board
of directors for the NHL’s Alumni Association.
Wilson and his wife, Kathy, have four children: Lacey, Doug, Chelsea and