DETROIT -- There’s a special bond between Detroit native Doug Weight and Peter Karmanos Jr., who is such a large part of the amateur hockey scene there.
Karmanos founded the Compuware hockey organization, and Weight played with and against those teams growing up.
Years later, the duo was reunited when the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Weight from the St. Louis Blues late in the 2005-06 NHL season. Weight had 13 points in 16 regular-season games then 16 in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Hurricanes win their only Stanley Cup.
One of the lasting memories of the Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup win is Weight struggling to lift the trophy after sustaining a separated shoulder during the Final.
“Winning a Stanley Cup is special,” Karmanos said. “Winning a Stanley Cup with a kid that played on teams that we sponsored and played on teams we didn’t sponsor made it even more special.”
Weight had a no-trade clause in his contract at the time and wasn’t sure Carolina was the right place for him.
“St. Louis was out of the playoffs and there were a lot of teams talking about trying to get me,” Weight said. “I didn’t know anything about Carolina. They had a great team, and thank God I did. What an organization they run, him and [general manager] Jimmy Rutherford and the fans.”
Weight returned to the Blues in the summer of 2006 but said the memory of the fans in Carolina remains with him.
“I felt like I was in the middle of Canada,” Weight said of the Hurricanes fans. “I played there 8 1/2 years, I know what it’s like. It was a passionate group. It was an awesome place to win.”
Weight said he had on one special piece of jewelry knowing Karmanos was part of his United States Hockey Hall of Fame class: his Hurricanes championship ring.