On Monday night in Detroit, Doug Weight will put the frustrations of his current job aside. Weight is an assistant coach for the struggling Islanders, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games, but the long list of Weight's accomplishments as a player will be front and center when he is inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
"It's pretty exciting, and to have it be here in Detroit, where I grew up, makes it pretty special," Weight told Newsday on Sunday just after he arrived in his hometown. "When you're starting out, you just want to be able to compete against the best in the best league in the world. I got to play for 20 years in the NHL. It's pretty humbling, exciting, all of that stuff."
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In addition to that two-decade NHL career, which began with the Rangers in 1991 and ended with the Islanders in 2011, Weight is being honored for his contributions to hockey in the United States. He was a three-time Olympian (1998, 2002, 2006) and a member of perhaps the greatest American team ever, the 1996 World Cup squad that upset Canada.
One of his World Cup teammates, Bill Guerin, will join Weight on the dais Monday night as an inductee. Guerin briefly was an Islanders teammate of Weight's in 2008-09. Guerin was dealt to the Penguins at the deadline that season, but Weight stayed on and played a role in bringing John Tavares along after the Islanders drafted Tavares first overall.
Weight still plays a big role for the Islanders as assistant to Jack Capuano and assistant to general manager Garth Snow. It's the reason Weight wasn't in full celebration mode Sunday. The sting of Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Capitals hadn't worn off.
"As bad as we felt as coaches coming off after that loss, you know there's 23 guys in that room who feel worse," Weight said. "I've been there, many times. The hardest thing to do is to get out of a stretch like this. But we can't get decimated by the record. The guys respond to Cappy and it's our job as coaches to get that belief back in the room."
For a couple of nights, at least, Weight will be surrounded by family and friends to celebrate his career and his induction, the first of two for certain.
He'll be in the Hockey Hall of Fame soon enough.