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Pulling her own Weight

by David Hochman / New York Islanders
Behind every great man there’s a great woman.

Those words have been echoed for decades, but they couldn’t be more telling than when describing Islanders Captain Doug Weight and his wife, Allison.

While a professional hockey team is full of dedicated, hard-nosed competitors on the ice, behind the scenes are people who greatly influence their lives, most notably, the players’ wives and girlfriends.

“Without the girls in our players’ lives, there’s a lot of community events and charitable initiatives that just wouldn’t get done,” said Ann Rina, the Islanders Community Relations Manager. “We have some of the most active guys in the league when it comes to grassroots programming and help with non-profits, but we also have some of the most active ladies.”

The 2010-11 New York Islanders wives and girlfriends attend the North Shore Animal League's annual gala. Allison Weight, the wife of Islanders captain Doug Weight, stands third from the right.
Allison helped foster that charitable culture to her team almost three years ago when Doug signed with the Islanders as a free agent.

“Before Doug signed here (in 2008), we had been going through a rebuilding phase and didn’t always see the same faces,” Rina said. “The girls that came through were always helpful, but it’s just like the team on the ice; without some veterans who have had experience helping out off the ice, it’s tough to build that foundation and grow the team.”

Fans began to see the rebuilding take shape on the ice the past two seasons as young stars like John Tavares, Michael Grabner and Blake Comeau stepped up their games. These players have often credited their early development to the veteran leadership on the squad, including their captain for the last two seasons, Doug Weight.

Allison is the heart of the wives and girlfriends group. She always knows what to say and when to say it. Allison is the perfect role model to such a young group of women. Her dedication to the team and her family is truly respected. - Cassie DiPietro
For the wives and girlfriends, it’s been a similar, steady growth under the leadership of Mrs. Weight. And like the boys recognize Doug, the girls praise Allison.

“Allison is the heart of the wives and girlfriends group,” said Cassie DiPietro. “She always knows what to say and when to say it. Allison is the perfect role model to such a young group of women. Her dedication to the team and her family is truly respected.”

Having been around a few different teams of significant others, Allison makes sure to stand up as that role model because she knows how important it is to help the younger women through these early years in the league.

“Coming to a new team is always a fun, but difficult transition and Allison couldn't have made me feel more welcome within the Islanders organization,” said Alicia Moulson. “Matt lived in the Weight’s guest house during his first year on the island (2009-10) and she did so much for him and Johnny (Tavares). She treated them like they were one of her own and we could never thank the Weight family enough for everything they've done.”

Danyel Gillies didn’t ‘even know where to start when it came to Allison!’

“She has to be one of the most welcoming and kindest people I've ever met,” Gillies said. “I was super intimidated when Trevor got called up to the Islanders, but Allison made me feel like I truly belonged. That was amazing because the captain's wife is usually looked at like our captain and I couldn't have had a better captain for my first experience in the NHL world.”

The Islanders wives and girlfriends show heir support for animals in need at the annual NSLA gala. Allison Weight, the wife of Islanders captain Doug Weight, stands far left.
Besides easing newcomers into the Islanders family, Allison plays a big part in getting the players’ families involved with charitable events.

“All of our girls love helping out in the community,” Rina said. “It’s always fun for them, but it can be hard to coordinate all the logistics, whether it’s two of them coming or twelve. Allison is the one who organizes everyone and sets everything up. I talk to her almost weekly and can always count on her to get the ladies together for whatever cause we’re helping.”

Married for 14 of Weight’s 19-year professional career, Allison and Doug have been raising their family of three children for more than a decade. After spending just a moment with either of them, ones realizes how committed they are to their kids. Ryan, Danny and Addison are probably three of the luckiest children around and they know it. Ask Allison or Doug and they’ll tell you they are the luckiest parents.

Allison and Doug are both captains, leaders, role models and heroes, and Thursday’s announcement won’t bring an end to any of that. Doug will still be there for the team and Allison will still be there for hers.

Maybe the new saying should be, “Next to every great man there’s a great woman.”
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