Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weight: Expecting Big Things in his 20th Season

Tonight I waited for Doug Weight to do a radio interview on AM640 Toronto with Bill Watters. I was hoping he'd be on before 5:30pm, but of course, he wasn't. But I'm glad I waited around to hear what he had to say.

While's Brian Compton has a really great article up on the returning Captain, it was nice to hear Doug in his own voice speaking with excitement about the upcoming season.

"I don't see why we wouldn't expect to see teams make big jumps." He knows that all the reports have the young Islander squad still at the bottom of the Eastern standings for next season. "Respect has to be earned. We're ready for that."

This is the intangible that veteran Doug Weight brings to the table. He will not only be a mentor but a motivator and an insulator.

He's hoping and believes that Rick DiPietro can make 30 - 40 starts this season and knows that doing so would be getting off in the right direction to becoming the star in this league that he should be. As hard as it was, he has taken the necessary time to heal and should be fine.

When asked about first rounder John Tavares and what he likes about him, Doug was quick to answer "I like everything about him. He constantly wants to be better. You don't find that in a lot of guys."

Weight worked out with JT before heading off to his own private Idaho and said he looks great and stronger. "I think it's going to be a big year for him." Two qualities that JT has that make him believe that are "He's lethal around the net" and "He doesn't want to take a shift off."

Doug was asked if anyone else in the room of youngsters impressed him and he rattled basically the majority of the roster. "Josh will be a great 2-way centerman." He then went on to praise Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau. "We've got talent." But talent may not be enough and he knows that.

"We've got to ask a lot of each other. We've got to show up 60 minutes a night. That's how great teams do it." And that is something I have heard for years. Great teams find a way to win. They pull out all the stops and find something in themselves they didn't even know they had. Dough knows it. He's lived it. He will have to teach it.

He will. Welcome back Captain.

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