New York Islanders Captain Doug Weight is one of the most famous American hockey players in the history of the NHL. The thirty-nine year old from Warren, Michigan began his playing career in 1991 with the New York Rangers. During the ’92 season he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers. Weight played for Edmonton for the next nine season. He also played for the Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blue and Anaheim Ducks before he signed with the Islanders prior to the 2008 season.
During his long career, he has tallied 278 goals and 754 assists for a total of 1,032 points. He is a four time NHL All-star and was a member of the Silver medal winning USA team at the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as well as the ’98 team.
Doug Weight is more than just a gifted hockey player, though. He is also a husband and a father.
I had the opportunity to pose some questions to Weight about the importance of family, patience and making sacrifices.
On juggling a family and a professional hockey career…
“You have to have a great wife first of all. You learn that life changes once you have kids. I’ve got to get my rest, get up, get them to school, get to practice and get all my stuff done before I get on the ice, so I can get back and be able to pick them up and share enough time in their lives.
You know, take them to their hockey practice or their soccer practice . Whether it’s reading a book or studying, making sure we have enough time as a family together is important. It is a challenge, having three kids now. We just bought a house, we’re renting a house, we’re trying to sell a house, so it becomes a pretty busy situation at times, but everyone goes through it and you often wonder what you used to do before you had children. But it’s doable, it’s fun and you need to have a great wife.”
On road trips and if he’s ever brought his family with him…
“It’s not baseball where you can go and be in a city for four or five days. There’s a couple trips where being on the east is a little bit easier. They’ll run down to Washington or Pittsburgh or obviously the (New York) Rangers and (New Jersey) Devils are doable. The kids can come down and watch us. But for the most part they’re pretty busy. They’re 11, 9 and 6 (years old) now and they’re in the times of their lives where we’re partial limo drivers. We’re driving them either to their friends house to study or to their sporting events. It’s hard being away, but in the same token, I’m pretty lucky to be on the east coast. I played about 13 or 14 years on the west coast, so it would be a much bigger challenge being over there. I can deal with it and we have some great help, people that can help us drive the kids a bit when I’m gone, but it’s always good to get home from a road trip.”
On the struggles he faced as a child playing hockey…
“I think being in Detroit, we were in the city, so I wasn’t able to leave the house too much. It wasn’t a great neighborhood where we grew up. I really didn’t have a struggle, I didn’t know any better. My dad coached three or four teams each year. He’d come right from work and we’d leave and we’d be at the rink from 4-9, probably four or five days a week. So, I’d skate with all his teams, including mine. I’d demonstrate the drills and I’d do my homework in the car. And that’s just how I grew up.
I think the struggles of certain sports, hockey being one, it isn’t a school sport. I think you kind of get alienated a little bit as far as you’re missing a little bit of social time and maybe a dance here or there. Kids hanging out on the weekends when I’m going to a tournament and there’s no one else from my school involved in that sport. So you missed a little bit and sacrificed quite a bit on that part but it was all worth it and really to this day my greatest friends are from the game of hockey so looking back in hindsight, it’s a blessing.”
30 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist and sports editor. He also writes about fine beverages for drinkingmadeeasy.com and Chilled Magazine. On top of that, he writes about college and professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, throw him an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on twitter http://www.twitter.com/chrisosburn