Duncan Shepherd 'The Rebel' Wilson - Born March 22, 1948 in Toronto, Ontario was a Canadian professional ice Hockey goaltender.
Wilson grew up in Whitby, Ontario where he excelled in both lacrosse and Hockey, getting his first junior Hockey with the Junior B Whitby Dunlops in 1964 at age 16. Proving he could play with the big boys at the time, Wilson would move up to the senior Oshawa Generals in 1964-65 season, then the Niagara Falls Flyers of the Ontario Hockey Association / OHA, playing for them for 1 1/2 seasons until being traded to the Peterborough Petes to finish the 1966-67 season.
Wilson then resigns with the Oshawa Generals for the 1967-68 season.
Wilson, originally part of the Boston Bruins system, was acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers in Special Internal Amateur Draft, June 1968, and would play for their farm team the Quebec Aces in the American Hockey League / AHL, a team he would play for from 1968 to 1970, and led the AHL in playoffs games played (15), playoffs minutes played (835) and playoffs GAA (2,73) with the Aces in 1968-69.
Wilson made his NHL debut for the Philadelphia Flyers on February 26, 1970, a 3 to 2 loss vs the Chicago Black Hawks. It was the only appearance for Wilson as the Flyers' netminder.
Exposed in the 1970 NHL Expansion Draft, Wilson was claimed by the Vancouver Canucks on June 10, 1970. Wilson was the 1st goalie selected in the 1970 draft. In Vancouver, he received a chance to stick in the NHL full-time as one of three goaltenders carried by the team in their inaugural campaign.
Wilson debuted for the Canucks on October 12, 1970, a 4 to 1 loss vs the St. Louis Blues, and his 1st win coming in his 4th game as a Canuck on November 5, 1970, a 4 to 1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. His first professional season would be rocky, as he posted a dismal 3–25–2 record in 35 appearances, and recorded a 4.29 GAA. However, he was recognized as having significant potential, and at age 22 was viewed as the club's long-term starter.
Wilson was the first Canuck goalie to face a penalty shot (vs Paul Andrea) on November 4, 1970 (which he stopped) ... first Canuck netminder to record a shutout, at Maple Leafs Gardens in Toronto, where Wilson and Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent battled, save for save, to the final buzzer in a 0-0 draw.
Wilson became Vancouver's starting goalie for 1971–72, and responded in fine fashion. He appeared in 53 games for the Canucks, posting a 16–30–3 record (his backups went 4–20–5) and a solid 3.61 GAA. In 1972–73, he had another solid year, finishing 13–21–5 with a 3.94 GAA.
On March 21, 1973, Wilson was the goaltender who allowed Frank Mahovlich's 500th career National Hockey League goal.
Wilson also played senior lacrosse for the Vancouver Burrards during the off-season while in Vancouver.
In 1973, Vancouver acquired highly rated veteran Gary 'Suitcase' Smith to take over as the team's starting goalie and Wilson, now expendable, was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 29, 1973 for Larry McIntyre and Murray Heatley.
Wilson spent nearly two seasons in Toronto backing up Doug Favell and Eddie Johnston. The three-goalie system didn't give any of the goalies enough ice time, but Wilson played well during the 24 games, recording a 2.79 GAA. Wilson would have a falling out with Maple Leafs coach Red Kelly over personal issues regarding his nature of "Having Fun" after and between games. Wilson also did not like to abide by the team dress code, opting instead for his own style.
Wilson was claimed on waivers by New York Rangers on February 15, 1975. Per the Toronto Star, Wilson was waived following his suspension for repeated violations of club rules.
Wilson backed up John Davidson for the Rangers in 1975–76, but suffered through a disappointing year, winning just 5 games and being demoted briefly to the minors (Baltimore Clippers) for the first time since 1970. Dunc admitted that he hadn't changed that much. "I can't go around being serious all the time and looking down in the dumps at the appropriate times," he said. "I still live the same. I still like rock music, my family, cracking a jar occasionally and having a few laughs."
Wilson was then traded (by Rangers) to Pittsburgh Penguins for fourth-round choice (Dave Silk) in 1978 Amateur Draft, October 8, 1976. Wilson would experience a rebirth in 1976–77. He emerged as Pittsburgh's starting netminder, appearing in 45 games and posting an 18–19–8 record and a sparkling 2.95 GAA along with 5 shutouts. In the process, he was named team MVP by both the franchise and their booster club with the Three Star Award. However, in 1977–78 his form would desert him, as he lost his starting job to Denis Herron, and posted a 5–11–3 record with a dismal 4.83 GAA.
Wilson started the 1978–79 season with the AHL Binghamton Dusters after being beaten out for the backup job by rookie Greg Millen, but received a homecoming of sorts when he was sold to the Canucks a month into the season (November 17, 1978). However, his form would be no better in Vancouver as he won just twice in 17 appearances, and he retired at the end of the season.
Wilson totaled 287 career NHL games played with the five teams, compiling an 80-150-33 record with eight shutouts. Wilson was also credited with 5 assists in his pro career. Though he never managed to have a season with more wins than losses, Wilson played on several sub-par teams during his career.
Dunc Wilson was inducted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame in 2009