Two former (albeit brief) New York Islanders captains are included in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame 2013 class. Doug Weight and Bill Guerin are being honored, as are women's hockey star Cindy Curley, Hartford de-Whaler Peter Karmanos, and longtime college coach Ron Mason.
Guerin -- I remember Guerin most for:
- Winning the '96 World Cup in Canada and sounding totally chill about it in his on-ice interview
- Scoring a hat trick with almost every freaking team he played for, including very early in his Isles tenure
- Winning a Stanley Cup as a youngster with the Devils ... then book-ending his career with another for some other team
- That weird night when he was pulled from the Islanders lineup pending a trade that didn't happen for a few days, leading Islanders fans to fight for hours over what had happened, with some saying the Bruins or Capitals backed out and double-crossed the Isles, and others saying obviously the GM is in over his head. Then he was traded and it wasn't a big deal and the Internet continued on.
- Reminding me of Det. Jimmy McNulty during his Islanders tenure. Neither ended well.
Here's Guerin's Long Island house tour, with one of his Isles highlights around the 30-second mark:
Unlike Guerin, the Weight story continues on for Islanders fans, and the contrast in how these two buddies' stories closed as Islanders players is interesting. Weight took a liking to Long Island life and stayed put.
Weight too was captain, and ran the power play point well when healthy (something he did in St. Louis as well, when Al MacInnis was hurt). But the injuries were too many, and now he lives on as The One Who Didn't Want To Be A Rental and jack-of-all-trades as assistant coach, adviser to the GM, and Barker At Refs-in-Chief:
Before the Isles though, his career was surely U.S. Hall of Fame worthy: Sure, a Cup in Carolina as a rental, but also more than a decade of productive seasons with the Oilers and then the Blues. The Blues acquired him via trade (and signed him to a $9 million per year deal) to replace ex-Isles star Pierre Turgeon, whom the Blues allowed to walk as a free agent for nothing. Oh, those heady pre-cap days when some teams just spent and spent and spent.
Weight was that rarer kind of skilled center: He would happily drop back to the point, he was always up for the physical stuff -- something his body reminded him of as he dealt with abdominal, pelvic, shoulder and other injuries throughout his career. (It's also something Brandon Sutter found out the hard way on this devastating but completely clean check.)
A little more:
- About the Class: USA Today
- About decorated college coach Ron Mason