The Pittsburgh Penguins announced this morning that have hired former San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson as a Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations. According to the Penguins press release, Wilson’s role will see him provide his opinion and counsel to Penguins president and general manager Kyle Dubas, as well as offer his expertise relating to all hockey matters, including personnel decisions.
Wilson brings over four decades of NHL experience to the Penguins management group having spent over 25 years in management with the San Jose Sharks on top of his 16-year Hall-of-Fame playing career. Wilson oversaw a Sharks team that was consistently in contention without ever undergoing a true rebuild. Something the Penguins are likely staring down when the Sidney Crosby–Evgeni Malkin–Kris Letang era of hockey comes to an end.
Wilson was inducted into the Hockey Hall-of-Fame as a player in 2020 after dressing in 1024 career NHL games split between the Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks. The Ottawa, Ontario native recorded 237 goals in his career and 827 points and was the Norris Trophy winner in 1982.
He spent 19 years as the general manager of the Sharks, guiding them to 14 playoff appearances as well as a Presidents’ Trophy in 2009, to go along with six division titles. The Sharks never did win a cup under Wilson’s tutelage, coming close in 2016 when they lost in the Stanley Cup final to the Penguins.
Since arriving in Pittsburgh, Dubas has rebuilt the Penguins both off and on the ice, having overhauled their defense, their forward group, and now the hockey operations department. It should make for an interesting season in Pittsburgh as there is renewed optimism after the Penguins missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006. The Penguins have felt stale since 2018 and with the addition of Dubas, along with the Erik Karlsson trade, it seems the Penguins are trending in a positive direction as they enter what is likely to be the final run with this core.