Doug Weight made his NHL debut in a Stanley Cup Playoff game against the Washington Capitals back in 1991. On his first shift as a New York Ranger, he tripped along the boards. It quickly prompted a scoring chance the other way.
"Whoever it was, he shot it wide … it probably saved my career so I thank him for that," an emotional Weight said Thursday morning, when the New York Islanders captain announced his retirement after 19 seasons in the National Hockey League.
Weight is calling it quits after a brilliant career that saw him tally 1,033 points in 1,238 NHL games. One of the finest American centers to ever play the game, Weight's retirement all but means a changing of the guard for U.S. hockey, as only Detroit Red Wings center Mike Modano remains from an era that produced some of the greatest American hockey players (Chris Chelios, Brett Hull and Jeremy Roenick, just to name a few) in history. And there's a good chance Modano may retire this offseason, too.