Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Doug Weight Autograph Card

I'm a romantic at heart, and I often transpose my idealism to areas of my life where it may seem like a long-lost value, such as sports. As such, when I have tremendous respect for an athlete who gives his all for his team over an extended stretch (more than a decade), I generally want them to retire as members of that team, with perhaps 2 or 4 of those per decade.

Doug Weight was one such player when he was with the Edmonton Oilers. Though he was drafted 34th overall in 1990 by the New York Rangers (who have strong ties with the Oilers, for one, and only used him for parts of two seasons), Weight played for 8 and a half seasons in Edmonton, and was their leader for a large part of those years, registering 577 points in 588 games as an Oiler, including a 25-goal, 79-assist and 104-point season in 1995-96.

He captained them for a few years, too, but was let go because as a pending free agent, it was believed he would be out of the team's price range, and they decided to at least get something in return, as they sent him to the St. Louis Blues essentially for Marty Reasoner and Jochen Hecht. He played in St. Louis for three and a half years in his first stint with the Blues.

As he was about to reach free agency once again, he was sent to the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2005-06 trade deadline, going on to win the Stanley Cup with them, against the Oilers, in a thrilling 7-game series. Weight himself was injured in Game 5, the result of being sandwiched between Raffi Torres and Chris Pronger.

After the Finals, Weight re-signed with the Blues, with his family still living in St. Louis, so when he was awarded his day with the Cup, he spent it there rather than in his native Michigan or in Carolina.

He finished his career with stints with the Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders, whom he also captained and who now employ him as both assistant coach and assistant general manager.

He ended his playing career with 278 goals, 755 assists and 1033 points (good for 5th all-time for American-born players) in 1238 regular-season games, and an additional 23 goals, 49 assists and 72 points in 97 playoff games. He has a King Clancy Trophy to his name for his leadership and humanitarian contribution, and once finished 6th in Hart voting. He played in 4 All-Star Games throughout his career.

He also suited up for Team USA on numerous occasions, having won the initial 1996 World Cup, and silver at the 2002 Olympics. He was also impressive at the World Juniors in 1991, leading the tournament in scoring on the strength of 5 goals, 14 assists and 19 points in just 7 games.

And so I couldn't have been happier when I pulled this from a pack of 2012-13 Decades - The 1990s from In The Game (#A-DW in the set of Autograph inserts, signed on-card in thin black sharpie), featuring a nice headshot of him with the Oilers' mid-1990s blue away uniform:
It also checks off #39 in my Oilers Numbers Project.

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