Weight inches closer to American milestone

December, 18, 2008
Doug Weight is on the verge of joining an exclusive club. Of course, he'll recognize all the faces when the doorman lets him in.

Mike Modano, Phil Housley, Jeremy Roenick, Joe Mullen, Brian Leetch, Pat LaFontaine and Keith Tkachuk will welcome Weight in and hand him his jacket with the insignia, "U.S.-born 1,000-point club."

"It's a proud time," Weight told ESPN.com on Thursday. "I'm excited. Anything individual generally is something you'll have when you're done and retired and you can be proud of that milestone for your family. Hopefully I can do it sooner rather than later."

The 37-year-old New York Islanders center sits at 997 career regular-season NHL points. He joked he didn't want to think about it too much because "it might take a month to do it."

"Seriously though, it'll be a proud moment," Weight said. "My kids are 9, 7 and 4 and I've been married for 11 years. They've been through a lot of my career with me. It'll be pretty special."

He's certainly not backing into the milestone, either. His 28 points (7-21) in 31 games this season lead the Islanders in scoring. He's already surpassed last season's output of 25 points (10-15) in 67 games with St. Louis and Anaheim.

Quite frankly, we were among the many media observers who wrote him off last season, but he's proving us wrong. There's gas left in the tank after all.

"I always felt like I had game left," said Weight, who is 73rd on the NHL's all-time points list. "I still had my legs and I had the passion for the game. It's exciting for me to come to a place where they're willing and eager to give me a lot of responsibilities. It's not just ice time, it's the way they want you to play and the amount of respect they show you. It's been really refreshing. The organization has been great and it's been a good fit."

As a team, things aren't going so well, though, and that grates on Weight, a Cup winner with Carolina in 2006.

"You know, obviously you can only be as happy as the amount you're winning as a team, so it's been tough in that regard," Weight said. "We've had a lot of injuries. We're capable. We can be a better team. Hopefully, I can help contribute to some wins."

He signed a one-year deal and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. Judging from his tone Thursday, sounds to us like to he wants to play another season.

"You have to make sure you're being honest with yourself," Weight said. "It's not just about the puck going into the net. It's about how you feel, especially the day after games. But for the most part, I've felt strong all year.

"I feel as young as I have in a long time and I'm bouncing back and recovering well. It makes me excited to go back to the rink. So I feel like I've got some time left to play."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer



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