Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Johnny Wilson
Although born in Kincardine, Johnny Wilson actually grew up in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec where his father took on a job as a miner when young Johnny was just a little mite. It was in the snowy, hockey-laden clime of the north that he and his younger brother, Larry, began their ascent to the NHL.

Both boys joined the Windsor Spitfires of the OHA in 1947 and established themselves as offensive standouts. The two robust siblings continued their parallel careers by hooking up with the Detroit Red Wings' organization by turning pro with their USHL affiliate in Omaha.

After a couple of false starts with the Wings, Johnny finally caught on as a full-time Red Wing in 1952. Larry, on the other hand, moved on the Chicago Blackhawks for the duration of his NHL career.

In the Motor City, Johnny Wilson soon established himself as an extremely durable foot soldier who, over the course of 580 consecutive games played between 1952 and 1961, earned the nickname "Ironman." His feat stood as a league record until Andy Hebenton of the Rangers extended his own streak beyond Wilson's run a few years later.

During Wilson's extended display of durability, he savoured three Stanley Cup victories with the Wings before joining the Blackhawks from 1955 to 1957. He then returned to the Wings for two more seasons of journeyman's duty before moving on for stints with the Leafs and Rangers.

It was during the Rangers' training camp in 1961 that Wilson broke his collarbone and his consecutive game streak at the same time. He managed to complete the 1961-62 season at which time he retired from on-ice duty.

In the ensuing years, he became an extremely well-traveled coach, taking on 14 different posts over a 14-year period. His assignments included stops with the Ottawa Montagnards senior club, Princeton University, Springfield Indians, L.A. Kings, Tidewater Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Indianapolis Racers, Michigan Stags, Balitmore Blades, Cleveland Crusaders, Minnesota Fighting Saints, Colorado Rockies, Team Canada, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1947-48 Windsor Spitfires OHA-Jr. 34 23 28 51 15 12 4 6 10 11
1947-48 Detroit Hettche IHL 25 21 13 34 19
1948-49 Windsor Spitfires OHA-Jr. 25 30 20 50 24 4 1 0 1 2
1948-49 Detroit Hettche IHL 4 5 4 9 0 13 16 7 23 16
1949-50 Omaha Knights USHL 70 41 39 80 46 7 2 5 7 4
1949-50 Detroit Red Wings NHL 1 0 0 0 0 8 0 1 1 0
1950-51 Indianapolis Capitols AHL 70 34 21 55 48 3 1 0 1 4
1950-51 Detroit Red Wings NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1951-52 Detroit Red Wings NHL 28 4 5 9 18 8 4 1 5 5
1951-52 Indianapolis Capitols AHL 42 25 14 39 16
1952-53 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 23 19 42 22 6 2 5 7 0
1953-54 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 17 17 34 22 12 3 0 3 0
1954-55 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 12 15 27 14 11 0 1 1 0
1955-56 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 24 9 33 12
1956-57 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 18 30 48 24
1957-58 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 12 27 39 14 4 2 1 3 0
1958-59 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 11 17 28 18
1959-60 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 15 16 31 8 10 1 2 3 2
1960-61 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 3 0 1 1 0
1960-61 Rochester Americans AHL 2 2 2 4 0
1960-61 New York Rangers NHL 56 14 12 26 24
1961-62 New York Rangers NHL 40 11 3 14 14 6 2 2 4 4
NHL Totals 688 161 171 332 190 66 14 13 27 11


Brother of Larry
USHL Second All-Star Team (1950) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1954, 1956)
Traded to Chicago by Detroit with Tony Leswick, Glen Skov and Benny Woit for Dave Creighton, Gord Hollingworth, John McCormack and Jerry Toppazzini, May 27, 1955. Traded to Detroit by Chicago with Forbes Kennedy, Bill Preston and Hank Bassen for Ted Lindsay and Glenn Hall, July 23, 1957. Traded to Toronto by Detroit with Frank Roggeveen for Barry Cullen, June 9, 1959. Traded to NY Rangers by Toronto with Pat Hannigan for Eddie Shack, November 7, 1960.