Chicago Blackhawks’ 25 Days Of Christmas: Doug Wilson


Chicago Blackhawks 1980s great Doug Wilson deserves a Hall Of Fame call, but for now he gets involved in our Days of Christmas

We’ve made it to December, and Christmas is 24 days away. What better way to count down to present opening and eggnog than looking at Chicago Blackhawks greats, and not so greats, that have worn sweater numbers 25-1. This isn’t a, ‘Best Blackhawk To Wear…’ list. This is just ‘A Blackhawk That Wore/Wears…’  So if your favorite isn’t on this list, don’t come crying to me. Or do. I don’t care. Anyway, here we go …

Playing in one of the more underappreciated eras of Chicago Blackhawks hockey, Doug Wilson anchored a highly successful run for Chicago from 1977 to 1991.

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The major issue behind Wilson’s era of Blackhawks hockey, and the issue behind many of his great, underrated teammates of the time, is that they played in the same Western Conference as the Wayne GretzkyMark Messier led Edmonton Oilers.

Players like Wilson, Steve Larmer and Troy Murray are sometimes forgotten outside of the Blackhawks community despite just how good they were.

Wilson was an eight-time NHL All-Star and won the Norris Trophy for the league’s best defenseman in the 1981-82 season and finished in the top five of voting in three other seasons.

In his career with the Blackhawks, Wilson skated in 938 regular-season games and tallied 799 points (225 goals, 554 assists), while playing in 95 Stanley Cup Playoff games and scoring 80 points (19 goals, 61 assists). Wilson is tied with Duncan Keith for the franchise playoff scoring lead for defensemen, but played in 27 fewer games.

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Wilson ranks 15th all-time in the NHL for scoring for defenders, and his 827 career points rank him higher than the production of Hall of Famers Rob Blake, Scott Niedermayer and Mark Howe. So what holds him back from getting the Hall Of Fame honor?

Title drought keeps Wilson down

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Unfortunately, it’s most likely attributed to the lack of a Stanley Cup championship. That one hindrance can almost certainly be the reason players like Wilson and Larmer are held back from Hall of Fame consideration.

The fact that the Blackhawks of that 1980s era never even played in a Stanley Cup Final hurts all of their Hall of fame resumes. From 1980 to 1990, Wilson and the Blackhawks appeared in five Conference finals, losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion four times. Three of those Conference finals losses coming at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers.

But players like Mats Sundin and Marcel Dionne have their deserved place in the Hockey Hall of fame without Stanley Cup titles, so why not Wilson? He, along with Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, are the only two Norris Trophy winners to not be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Wilson’s individual achievements should be enough to give him consideration for a call to the Hockey Hall of Fame. But if his individual playing career isn’t enough, his tenure as the San Jose Sharks general manager may be the extra kick to get him in.

Since taking over in May of 2003, the Sharks have only missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs once, and have made four Western Conference finals appearances with last season being the organization’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

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I’d like to wish Wilson good luck moving forward, but the Sharks are good and could get in the Blackhawks’ way this year. Well, either way, when Wilson’s time in the sport is through, he should get a well deserved spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame.