MINNEAPOLIS -- Rookie Michael Grabner didn't win the Calder Trophy, but the Islanders did not go home empty-handed after Wednesday's NHL Awards show in Las Vegas.

Recently retired Islanders captain Doug Weight was announced as the King Clancy Memorial Trophy recipient, awarded to the player that best displays exceptional leadership qualities and commitment to his community.

Past winners include Shane Doan, Vincent Lecavalier, Brendan Shanahan, Adam Graves and Ray Bourque, as well as the Islanders' Bryan Trottier in 1989.

"I'm beyond honored and excited," Weight said when reached by telephone in Las Vegas. "Leadership on and off the ice is something that I've always considered to be very important. I'm proud that my teammates nominated me and it's pretty exciting coming on the heels of my retirement."

Weight has been involved with many charities throughout his 19-season NHL career, but his primary focus has been working with those that benefit cancer patients. His 18-year-old cousin, Jeff, died of a brain tumor when Weight was 15.

"I think it's part of your job. We can help people in our community that don't have as much as we do," Weight said. "To be in that position is a big responsibility. Once you get involved in it, it's a wonderful thing. It's a great feeling to give back and a great thing to teach your children."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Weight will fly from Las Vegas to Minneapolis for this weekend's draft in his new role as an assistant to general manager Garth Snow.

Since hanging up the skates last month, Weight said he has been involved with almost all of the Islanders' offseason and predraft meetings as well as the contract discussions about young players Grabner and Kyle Okposo, who recently signed five-year deals.

The 40-year-old veteran admitted he doesn't have as much insight to offer on the draft-eligible players under the spotlight this weekend but that his involvement has been worthwhile to him.

"It's been a great learning experience," Weight said. "I think that's why you have to have trust and delegation. As an organization you have to find people you trust to find and that's certainly the direction we are going."

Weight's appearance at the draft table for the first time as a member of Islanders management will be his first real draft experience.

Weight was at an Olympic camp that conflicted with the draft in 1990 when he was selected in the second round (34th overall) by the Rangers, so he never even got to hear his name called.

He said he's excited for the first-hand experience Friday. "I'm sure I'm going to see some wild things this weekend."