Bert Wilson

A colleague recently shared their views on a former Los Angeles Kings tough guy named Bert Wilson:

"Bert Wilson had only one talent - flapping his sharp elbows into the opposition's ribcage. He was the worst stickhandler I ever saw in the NHL. On the rare occasions that Wilson scored a goal it was by one of two ways: The first one was an occasional goal mouth scramble. The second (usual) way was because the opposition refused to check him. In this scenario, the puck would be deep in the opposition's end. Each opposing defenseman (usually with the help of a back- checking forward) would drape themselves over Wilson's line mates the moment they touched the puck until they passed it back to Beltin' Bert. The remaining opposing forwards would harass the King's D men at the points should the puck come to the D men. If the Kings had the puck, the opposition wanted Wilson to have it! Wilson would be left all alone with the puck without being harassed. Under those conditions, even Wilson had more than enough time to skate in alone with the puck and have just as much time to get a point blank shot on goal - and a few went in!

"However, I give Wilson some credit. At least the effort was there even if the talent wasn't. I'm sure it was there since he probably realized that if he didn't go all out for a game, it may be his last one in the NHL."

Wilson did last 7 full NHL seasons and 478 games. In that time he scored just 37 times, while setting up 44 others. He was drafted by the Rangers and played in their minor league system for the first 5 years of his career before finally catching on in New York. Best known as a King, he also played with St. Louis and Calgary before rounding out his career with two seasons with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the CHL.

So there you have it. Another player in a long list of forgotten about players who survived by playing as physical as they could, despite having few tangible hockey skills.

Here's a YouTube highlight of Bert Wilson dropping the gloves with Behn Wilson:


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