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BEHIND THE NUMBER: #93

Find out why Islanders captain Doug Weight wears sweater no. 93

Monday, 11.01.2010 / 8:59 AM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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BEHIND THE NUMBER: #93
As a 20-year-old college sophomore, Doug Weight skated on the top offensive line for Lake Superior State University, muscling through traffic with bursts of speed and blowing by defensemen only for them to turn around in time to see sweater no. 11 deke their goaltender for yet another goal.

Weight tallied 29 goals and 46 assists for 75 points his sophomore season, helping the Lakers to the NCAA playoffs for the second straight season. But in the quarterfinals, Weight and his teammates suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Clarkson Golden Knights, knocking them out of the running for the NCAA championship.

Just hours after the loss, Weight’s hockey future would change forever. He would sign with the New York Rangers on the same day as Tony Amonte, a now retired veteran who played more than 1,000 career NHL games. Arriving in New York, Weight would play in one game during the 1991 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a new number to call his own.

When he first arrived in New York City, Weight, like any other player, needed a jersey number. “I think there was 33, 36, 39 and one other number in the 30s that were available,” Weight said. “They really had a full team of all the numbers or they were retired.”

Because of the lack of choices, Neil Smith (who was the Rangers General Manager at the time), handed Weight a number without much thought.

“Neil Smith said ‘all right, I don’t want to argue. Tony you’re 33, Doug you’re 39. Thirty-three is good, you wore three in college. It’s good for you Tony. Thirty-nine, you remind me of Dougie Gilmour (winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy and nominated for the Hart Trophy in the same season, 1992-93) and guys like that (small stature but play physical). It’s a good number to have. It’s going to look good on your back. You go with that.’ And he was the GM,” Weight said. “So I was like ‘all right, I am 39.’ ”

When Weight came back for his second season, the Rangers had traded for Hall of Famer Mark Messier, who wore no. 11 in his playing days. So rather than push his luck and ask for 11, Weight made the easy choice to stick with no. 39.

Wearing sweater no. 39 may have been assigned to the current Islanders captain, but the number suited him. When he arrived on the Island at the beginning of the 2008-09 season, his number of 17 years was already spoken for by goaltender Rick DiPietro.

DiPietro told Weight he could have had the number if he asked for it, but Weight declined saying he probably would have had to wrestle the goaltender for the number. As a result, the veteran centerman had to figure out what number would make him stand out to Islanders fans.

“I was thinking about doing some other things, but why mess with a number that had been so good to me?” Weight said.

But he decided to think about it further and called a family meeting to discuss the matter.

“We had a big family meeting on our boat in the summer and everyone was like, just turn it around,” Weight said. “That’s going to look good. Ninety-three is good. Don’t worry about it. So I went with 93.”

Weight is the only Islanders player to ever wear sweater no. 93. After asking if that means anything to the centerman, he bluntly said, “No” but then burst out laughing as he continued. “Maybe nobody will think about wearing it again, not that they wouldn’t be allowed to. But maybe no one would ever have a reason to wear it again, so we’ll see.”

"We have a lot of energy around our team and you never know what’s going to happen," Weight continued. "So yeah, sure it could end up being a real special year and that could be something special to remember.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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