Doug Wilson announced Thursday that he is stepping down as Sharks general manager. He held the position for 19 years.
"These past 19 years serving as general manager of the San Jose Sharks have been a privilege and one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable periods of my life," Wilson said in a statement. "I have been incredibly fortunate to work for and with some of the most talented and passionate people in the game of hockey.
"I want to thank Hasso Plattner, along with our previous ownership groups, for the incredible opportunity and the trust they placed in myself and our staff. I want to also thank all of the coaches, players, scouts, trainers and members of the hockey department that I have worked with over these many years for their dedication and commitment to our organization. I want to thank the tremendous fans of the San Jose Sharks franchise. Your enthusiasm and support of this team is unmatched, and I will cherish the shared memories that we have built together over nearly two decades.
"I would not have been able to serve in this role for so long without the unconditional love and support from my family, especially my wife Kathy. The sacrifices that they have made to allow me to pursue this opportunity have been selfless and I cannot thank them enough.
Wilson, 64, played two years for the Sharks and was the team's first captain in franchise history, serving two years before retiring after the 1992-93 season.
He joined the Sharks as general manager on May 13, 2003, and built the squad into a dynasty. Under Wilson, the Sharks qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs 14 times and averaged 45.6 wins per season.
Wilson, known for his strong trades and strategic drafting, was inducted into the Hockey Hall on June 24, 2020.
On November 26, Wilson took a medical leave from his duties with the team, leaving assistant GM Joe Will in charge.
"Finally, I want to thank everyone who has reached out during my leave of absence. While I have made great progress over the last several months, I feel it is in the best interest of the organization and myself to step down from my current duties and focus on my health and full recovery. I look forward to continuing my career in the NHL in the future."
Plattner, the Sharks' owner, released a statement as well.
"I want to personally thank Doug for his 19 seasons as general manager of the San Jose Sharks," Plattner said. "Doug and his staff produced remarkable results over a span that very few NHL teams can match, highlighted by our 2016 Stanley Cup run."
He added: "Doug has been an integral part of this franchise since the team's inception in 1991, and his impact - on and off the ice - will continue to be felt long into the future. Doug, and his wife Kathy, will always have a place as members of the Sharks family."
The Sharks will immediately begin an external search for a new general manager of the club.
Although no timetable has been set for the hire, the process of interviews will determine how long it takes to find the right fit. Until then, Will will serve as interim general manager.