Weight wants to stay on Long Island … Thomas wants to live Olympic dream

January, 9, 2009
We've had a few readers ask about Doug Weight and his future, so we decided to call him up and get it from the horse's mouth.

As he quickly pointed out when we began our conversation, it's not actually up to him, since he doesn't have a no-trade clause. But if it was?

"I've been asked bluntly [by other media] if I wanted to be traded and right now the answer is no," Weight told ESPN.com. "You're part of a team, you're part of a city, your family is there. I'm 37, and I'm excited about how I feel."

It's been a renaissance year of sorts for Weight, who has 32 points (7-25) in 37 games (although he's out right now with a right foot injury). Because of that, he's a possible target for another NHL team, because he's a pending unrestricted free agent.

"I'm happy where I am," he reiterated. "I want to try and help the guys here turn this ship around as much as we can in the second half, and hopefully look to better things next year. But because I'm on a one-year deal, I may not be allowed to do that. Offers are made and decisions are made and everyone has got to do what's right for them."

If Isles GM Garth Snow gets a decent offer between now and the March 4 trade deadline, he'll need to seriously consider it (the same goes for pending free-agent center Mike Comrie). The Islanders want to get younger, but Snow has promised Weight to keep him in the loop if and when the time comes.

One thing is clear: Unlike other veterans on losing hockey teams that pine to be picked up by a Cup contender, Weight has been there and done that with Carolina in 2006. He's fine if he stays put, but understands Snow might get a good offer.

"This time next year, you could find yourself in fourth place," Weight said. "Who knows? I'm never looking to leave a team or flee a situation. But I have to be prepared that come late February and early March that something may happen. I'd have to look at that."

No doubting Thomas
Sean Avery aside, few players garnered more reaction from ESPN.com readers this season than Tim Thomas when the NHL All-Star ballots were released and the Boston Bruins netminder wasn't on it for the Eastern Conference. Boston fans were white-hot angry.

"I don't know; for some reason, I wasn't all that surprised [at being left off the ballot]," Thomas told ESPN.com. "So I was slow to react to it. But then I thought about it for a while and I did wonder why. I put it behind me, though, and just worried about playing the rest of the year."

Luckily the league made up for its oversight and selected Thomas for the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday. And we say well done. It'll be his second All-Star Game appearance after going to Atlanta last season.

"I really enjoyed myself last year, but I think this year I'll enjoy myself even more because last year I was a little bit nervous," Thomas said. "There were a lot of guys I hadn't met before. This year, I'll feel a little bit more comfortable and relaxed and content to soak it in a little bit better."

Forget the All-Star Game; what about the Olympic Games? We think Thomas deserves a serious look from Team USA next season. Ryan Miller is a lock, while Thomas, Rick DiPietro, Ty Conklin, Craig Anderson and Brent Johnson should be in the mix.

"I hope so," Thomas said. "I was five years old during the 1980 Olympics, and they made a huge impact on me. Actually, my goal was to play in the Olympics before it ever was to play in the NHL. That was my dream, and still is.

"I hope I do well enough [to get considered]. I'm not even worried about starting. I'd be happy to be anywhere on the team."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer


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