Islanders captain Doug Weight is done for the season. The 40-year-old veteran said he will take some time to think about his future but is leaning toward retirement.
Weight spent months trying to rehab a November injury that caused nerve damage in his back and muscle atrophy in his left leg, but to no avail. The team's medical staff advised him against playing the last six games of the season, and facing the risk of permanent damage, Weight agreed.
After practice Tuesday, Weight said he was frustrated that his efforts to return didn't come to fruition.
"I'm deeply disappointed, but I knew it was a possibility." Weight said. "I put a lot of work in the last three or four weeks feeling good and skating all out with the team. There's still quite a risk if I would've come back. It was a decision that the trainers and doctors made easy for me. But it's not easy having to say it, knowing that you're not going to play this year."
Weight said he will take the next couple of weeks to spend time with his family and evaluate what his future holds. But at this point, returning for another season seems unlikely.
"I would lean more toward retirement than I would playing," Weight said. "But by no means have I made that decision. I want to make sure my mind's right, and I think I've earned that. I want to make sure that's what I want. I don't what this team needs right now, but I want to sit back and see how things go here and see how I feel.
Weight, who lives with his wife and school-aged children in Long Island full-time now, said he has had " very informal" discussions with management about remaining with the organization in another capacity. Although it seems Weight is more interested in pursuing a management role rather than coaching, he hasn't ruled anything out.
"I would love to be a part of hockey when I'm done," Weight said. "Those are things you cross when you get to those roads. I think our relationship is good, and I've been treated great here, so when it's time to move on, we'll figure those things out. If it works out that'll be wonderful. If not, I still hold this organization in the highest regard."