Sail On, Bloomfield Jet

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.

  • D

    My big regret about the Doug Weight years is that towards the late 90s, the Oilers were maybe one or two players away from going deep into the playoffs. Guerin, Weight, Smyth, Hamrlik, Curtis Joseph were all pretty good players around which to build a contender.

  • Reggie

    Would you retire Dougie’s number? Getting your number retired in Edmonton is tougher than old beef jerky where it seems part of the protocol is that you have to be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

    I take a measure of pride in this very stringent requirement. However, I think an exception should be made for Dougie. Not only was he a great Oiler, he was also a great person.

    We also need to consider the context of his tenure in Edmonton and the history of the team. The 90’s were turbulent years for the Oilers. The team was losing money, was missing the playoffs and had an owner that the community no longer respected. The team was rumoured to be leaving and the departures of the Jets and Nordiques raised the fear level. It really felt like the Oilers were going to leave. A last ditch effort by Bill Comrie and SOS put together a conglomerate of owners to buy the team from Peter and assure that the team was going nowhere. Right at the same time, the team started to turn things around on the ice and this really consolidated community support around the team. The surprise 1st round defeat of the Stars followed by a defeat of the Avs the following year. Things were fun again. At the centre of it all was our star player, Doug Weight. From that aspect, I think you could argue Doug played a big part in keeping the team in Edmonton. EIG did not have deep pockets. But excitement with the on-ice product kept the gate receipts coming and it was sufficient for the team to struggle its way to the next collective bargaining agreement.

    • ubermiguel

      Dougie is a class act and one of my favourite Oilers all-time.

      I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll keep planting the idea until it happens: the Oilers need a 2nd tier level of honour. Lots of other teams have a Wall-of-Fame type-thing where guys can get honoured without getting the jersey in the rafters. Guys like: Doug Weight, Bill Ranford, Curtis Joseph, Kevin Lowe, Joey Moss. I’d love to see a plaque and portrait in the concourse of Rexall (or a the rink).

  • Bucky9

    DWeight. “He was a beauty” as Don Cherry would say. Great Oiler, still rmember those series in the late 90’s. This mans teams are what has made me a diehard fan. That and of course Wayne’r.

  • The only silver lining about ’06 was Dougie getting his Cup. That lining was extremely faint and was not really apparent to me until the heartache diminished. Which of course means that I can still barely see it.

    *Stupid MA Bergeron.

    • Eulers

      Yes, should Tampa Bay make it into the finals, perhaps we should send that a short note to say that they would be ill-advised to play both Rollie and MA Bergeron in the Stanley Cup Finals…

      Hats off to Dougie Weight! His play helped bring me into the fold of Oiler fans.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    As much as I hated to See Carolina beat us in game 7 watching Weight with the Cup made me feel good for just that moment as a more classy player you will never find. When We are in the new building we need to have a place where we honor all the former Captains of the Oilers. Producing a place where we show the Great history of the team is important to developing a winning attitude.

  • Reggie

    Class guy, great captain and a heart and soul kind of player. It was a pleasure to watch him restore some of our former pride in the late 90s. I loved watching him in the series’ against Dallas, he had such fire even though it was obvious we were usually outgunned.

    We have been waiting for a player like him ever since. I personally would love to see #39 hanging from the rafters if only as a tribute to what he meant to the team in the leanest years of our existence.

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      I know we have a policy that only players in the HHOF have their Jerseys retired but I also think there is a lot of Weight to your argument 39 tons of it! Honor should be bestowed!

  • Reggie

    I think it is time the Oilers admit that K-Lowe is never getting into the HHOF and use him as the first number up on the Oilers Wall of Fame similar to the Eskimos approach.

    Then follow it up with players like Randy Gregg, Fogolin, Cujo. Heck, maybe even Semenko, Moog (for that Habs win), Ranford, Weight, etc etc.

    • Bucky9

      No doubt! And those Todd Mcfarlane 3rd jerseys were sweet also,unlike the current “practice” jerseys they wear for games.

      Back on topic. Congrats to Weight for a fine career.

  • I’ll never forget the sick deke to backhand he scored right off the opening puck drop against Calgary. ‘You can’t trade for first line centers’, we did and have never recovered. Dougie is among the great Oiler captains.

  • Reggie

    Doug Weight, almost single-handedly (Marchant helped, too), changed my opinion of American-born players.

    I realize that sounds silly, but back then I had a real dislike of American players or, to be more exact, the ones who came through Edmonton.

    I had no problem with the Modanos and Lafontaines and Leetchs of the league but back then I had a lot of bitterness over Jimmy Carson. He seemed like everything that I hated about Americans back then (it’s not something I’m proud to admit as it was an irrational disdain, to be sure).

    But guys like Weight and Marchant and Grier and Guerin changed that. None of them, that I recall, spoke ill of Edmonton or Canada after I left – in fact, I recall Weight and Guerin speaking up quite prominently in Edmonton’s defence a few years ago after Pronger left and everyone was labelling Edmonton as the NHL’s Siberia for free agents.

    So, just to throw out this idea – any thought of perhaps retiring No. 39? He was a pretty damn good Oiler.

  • Lowetide

    For all of his contributions on the ice I think he was even more valuable as an ambassador for the team and to soem extent even city.

    It’s my belief that the day Weight was traded was the day the Oilers turned the corner from being a tight knit team of players that would go through the end boards for each other that play for a storied and classy organization that resides in a small but friendly and family oriented city, towards being a directionless, sometimes mystifying organization that spend too much time begging and not enough time building that happens to play in a cold and bitter outpost of a city.

    A bit harsh maybe, but the point is there. When Weight was still here in seemed the only thing keeping the extra pieces away was money. Now it seems to be 100 different things…

  • Dominoiler

    A toast to you Mr. Weight to the days when we actually got our money’s worth for our ticket. A natural leader and a classy guy!
    Curious tho’ that in 10 years management hasn’t come up with a centreman even close to his talent. Ridiculous.

  • Milli

    He was a Beauty! That was a fun era, fast exciting OILERS hockey! I still remember when Weight Guerin and Smyth where the best line in hockey….then one got traded…..

  • O.C.

    If the Oil ever figure out that they can honour numbers, without retiring them, a la MTL, 39 is at the top of the list.

    The Oilers saw his best years. Sick talent, team guy, durable for a smaller guy who was always in traffic, was a borderline superstar.

    Don’t think Slats would have traded him if he wasn’t under pressure to win now.

    How does his size and jr pedigree compare with RNH?

  • Milli

    Very nice, LT.

    I grew up during the “glory years” and yet Doug Weight is still pretty close to being my favorite Oiler.

    His affection for our team/city was genuine, and it came at a time when, as an Oiler fan, that meant everything.

    The Boys on the Bus were part of a simplier/more naive NHL, and hell, their greatness was almost pre-ordained. Weight was there when we were emerging from the dark cloud of Pocklington, in the “it’s a business” era of the game. Great captain and great player.

    My memories are the same as your, LT. That night in San Jose (epic – 39 minutes in penalties on that play if memory serves), and taking a brief moment from my G7 depression to be happy for his Cup win.

  • Milli

    I was very sad to see Weight go when he was traded. Weight made it fun to watch those Oiler teams of the mid to late 90’s. You can argue that Weight was one of the most classiest Oilers to ever play for Edmonton. He loved playing for the Oilers and loved playing in Edmonton. Everytime he ever spoke of Edmonton he had nothing but great things to say.

    He wanted to remain an Oiler that I seem to recall him willing to take an EXTREME discount to stay. If memory serves me well he was asking for around 3-4 mil per to stay. He ended up getting traded to the Blues and made double that. That alone should tell you what a stanup guy Weight was.

    Dougie I was sad when you got traded and now I am equally as sad to see you retire.