Some players, such as Larry Wilson, managed to make a living out of playing in the minors for virtually their entire professional hockey careers.
While Wilson did manage to squeeze in 152 NHL games over a 20-year professional career, it was in the minors where he spent 17 years of his career. Wilson played in six games for the Detroit Red Wings over two seasons, being held off the scoresheet before suiting up for 15 games with the Wings in 1952-53, when he collected four assists. Sandwiched between call-ups was a two-year stint with the Indianapolis Capitals where he had point totals of 35 and 59 in 1950-51 and 1951-52.
Wilson was sent to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1953-54 and he appeared in 66 games, scoring nine goals and 33 assists for 42 points. That was followed by a 23-point season the following year, and so he was relegated to the AHL's Buffalo Bisons. Wilson played just two more NHL games, in 1955-56, again being held off the scoresheet while wearing the Blackhawks uniform.
Wilson would spend the next 12 seasons playing for the Bisons. His most successful season in terms of point totals came in 1960-61, when he had 30 goals and 54 assists for 84 points. He finished his career playing two seasons for the Dayton Gems of the International League. In his final professional season, at the age of 39, Wilson played in 68 games, had 20 goals and 43 assists for 63 points.
Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame