SAN JOSE -- Doug Wilson was nearing the end of his playing career as an NHL defenseman when he joined the expansion San Jose Sharks for the 1991-92 season after 14 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.
San Jose, which was awarded an NHL franchise on May 9, 1990, played its first two seasons near San Francisco at the aging Cow Palace while its new arena was under construction.
"We didn't have great teams, but we had great people, we had great character," Wilson, San Jose's general manager since 2003, said at the Sharks 25th Anniversary Celebration at SAP Center on Tuesday. "A lot of one-goal games that for us was like going into a gun fight with a water pistol. But we knew we were going to battle. But the fans were there for us through thick and thin, and the guys that played on that team made sure of giving everything they had. I still can't believe it's 25 years."
In that quarter of a century, the Sharks have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs 17 times, won the Pacific Division six times and reached the Western Conference Final three times.