Larry Wilson

Larry Wilson was born in a small Ontario city named Kincardine, on the Eastern shore of Lake Huron.. Larry grew up playing hockey with his brother Johnny, who once held the "Iron man" record in the NHL for most consecutive games played (580). They both played high school and juvenile hockey together although Johnny was a year and a half older. They both played for Windsor Spitfires in the OHA and Detroit Hettche in the IHL.

Scouts from both Detroit and Toronto were interested in them. Both teams placed Larry and Johnny on their lists and sent telegrams to the NHL offices. NHL solved the problem by putting Larry on Detroit's list and Johnny on Toronto's. Johnny eventually ended up in Detroit and the brothers wound up as pros for the same team. They both went on to play for the Omaha Knights in the AHL before they got called up to the Red Wings on the same night during the 1949-50 season.

Ted Lindsay had been sent to Hot Springs, Ark., for a rest, and Sid Abel was given the night off before a game vs Chicago. This left two spots open on Gordie Howe's line. Larry centered the line with Gordie and brother Johnny on his flanks. This was the Wilson's only appearance in the NHL that year, and although the line was held scoreless it was the brother's biggest thrill ever.

Larry continued to play in the minors in 1950-51 before Detroit boss Jack Adams told Larry to put on 15-20 pounds before reporting to training camp at the start of the 1951-52 season. So instead of his usual 160 Ibs, Larry came in at 178. Jack Adams was happy with that number but the extra weight gave Larry problems as he slowed considerably. It took Larry about ten games to lose that extra weight, but by that time he was sent down to the minors for the rest of the season.

Larry had several opportunities to play alongside Howe and Lindsay but never impressed enough to convince the management enough to stay around. He was eventually shipped to the Chicago Blackhawks where he saw regular duty on the team. Larry played two full seasons in the Windy City between 1953-55. He was the leading scorer for Chicago in 1953-54 with 42 points, one point ahead of teammate Bill Gadsby. Chicago only won 12 out of 70 games that year.

At the start of the 1955-56 season Larry hurt his knee when the great Doug Harvey hit him. He twisted his left knee and tore his knee ligaments. Amazingly enough Larry continued to play that game despite the injury. That game proved to be his last NHL game ever. Larry went on to play for the Buffalo Bisons in the AHL for many years. He stayed in Buffalo until 1968, scoring almost 800 pts in the AHL.

Larry retired after the 1969-70 season. His professional career saw him play over 1000 games as well as scoring over 1000 points.

Larry passed away at the young age of 48 in 1979. His son Ron Wilson became a NHL player and successful  NHL coach.


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