Sources suggest that former Oiler Doug Weight will announce his retirement from the game today. Weight represented the very best post-Glory Barons Oilers and his passing from the game should be marked by all Oiler fans.
The day New York’s Rangers dealt Doug Weight to Edmonton, the New York Times (March 18, 1993) called it like this:
Weight moved his things, and a heavy heart, to the visitors’ dressing room at Madison Square Garden. Tikkanen brought his belongings and an ever-present grin to the home hallway, where he chatted cheerily with his new teammates while working on his sticks.
The story goes that Weight didn’t have time to tell his wife, so she found out at the game. Their first chance to communicate came during the national anthems, he as an Oiler and she sitting with the Ranger wives.
From those chaotic beginnings, Doug Weight and family made a home in Edmonton and Oiler fans were thrilled with the trade as time wore on. It’s important to remember that during that time Oiler fans watched quality Boys on the Bus players being dealt on a monthly basis; the return was never so dear as the day Slats delivered Doug Weight.
Weight was a stocky sort, a sublime passer with equal parts intelligence and a rugged style. During his time as on Oiler, the club overachieved, won playoff series and gave fans the impression things were heading in the right direction. Once, during a losing streak, Weight had an "on-ice players only" meeting which motivated the entire club. Edmonton caught fire and embarked on a long winning streak.
Weight had a way about him. Although not the biggest player, he had a recklessness and an edge to him that kept other teams at bay. Weight went a little crazy one night when Bryan Marchment attempted to slew foot him (in San Jose) and ended up getting kicked out of the game. Weight (unlike a lot of skill players) took matters into his own hands and made an impression. Over the years, Oiler fans became quite attached to the young man from Warren, Michigan.
The day he was traded (to St. Louis for Jochen Hecht, Marty Reasoner and Jan Horacek–it was July 1, 2001) the Oilers lost a big part of themselves. Although competitive afterward, the club wouldn’t have success until after the lockout.
The Edmonton Oilers have never had a center of his quality since that day.
Doug Weight won his Stanley in 2006, playing for the Carolina Hurricanes. Although the most painful memory in this fan’s lifetime, I still can’t work up a lather against Doug Weight. He was a rental, he was injured and one of the few things I can smile about from that spring is a class guy getting his Stanley Cup ring.
Sail on, Doug Weight. We’ve never forgotten you, and we never will.