Dr. Jerry Wilson

Dr. Jerry Wilson is the father of long time NHL player and Canadian Olympian Carey Wilson. He is also the grandfather of current NHL star Colin Wilson.

His impact on the hockey world is far greater than his offspring. He also happens to be a former Montreal Canadien himself; the Winnipeg Jets team doctor (he also worked for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet); and influential in convincing early European stars like Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson to come to North America.

Jerry, a center like his son and grandson, played only three games in the National Hockey League, all with Montreal in the 1956-57 season. Injuries really sidelined a promising career. He was a junior star with the St. Boniface (Manitoba) Canadiens and later a senior star with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens.

A huge player in his day at 6'2" and 210lbs, Wilson had terrible knees. In fact, he had eight knee operations by the time he was just 18 years old. But he refused to give up his hockey dream, no matter how agonizing the pain would grow to be.

Jerry, also known as Gerry, finally faced reality after his short stint in Montreal, realizing his knees would not allow him to fulfill his dreams. Soon after he returned to Winnipeg and enrolled in University, studying to become a orthopaedic doctor. He was already an expert on knee injuries, now he wanted to help others who suffered like him.

Wilson was said tohave studied science for four years, medicine for another four years and orthopaedics for five years before heading to Sweden to study sports medicine abroad. That is where he learned of several talented European hockey stars.

Wilson never forgot the names of stars like Anders Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson and Lars-Erik Sjoberg. The Winnipeg Jets of the WHA hired Wilson to become the team doctor, although his biggest contribution may have been his role in helping to convince these three aforementioned stars to pioneer European hockey in North America.


Anonymous,  2:12 PM  

Winnipeg Jet fans owe a great deal to Jerry Wilson, without his influence and keen eye for talent, the likes of Hedberg, Nilsson and Sjoberg would never have joined the WHA franchise and Winnipeg may well have been another Cincinatti Stingers or Toronto Toros... and he was a heckuva knee surgeon to boot.

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