We spoke with Weight after an Islanders practice, just before he ran off to meet his kids. That’s because when he’s not with the team, Ryan, 11, Danny, 9, and Addison, 6, keep him busy.
“I’m the limo driver. It comes with the territory,” he said. “Now that they’re older, they’re involved in all these activities. Ryan is involved in basketball and soccer and school things, and my son loves hockey and lacrosse. So Allison and I run around a lot. Usually I have breakfast with the kids and then drop them off at school, then go to practice.”
On practice days he picks the kids up from school and in the typical scheduling juggling act of many Long Island parents, he and Allison split who is shuttling whom where and at what time.
“On game days I go to the morning skate and because I’m older I go home and rest all afternoon and then go to rink and then don’t get home until 11,” Weight says. “It’s just the way it is. To make it all work you have to marry good people. Allison makes it all work. And when I’m off I help out and we do things together.”
Weight has summers off, so the family usually spends it in Idaho with their extended family. “That’s the good part of my schedule, because when the kids are off for the summer I’m with them. We get to spend a great time together as a family.”
Every family juggles their schedules, says Allison. “It’s no different that we have a celebrity in the house. The hard part is scheduling and knowing when Doug will be on a road trip and what he can participate in for the kids,” she says. “We always look at the school calendar to see if he can be there for their events. When he’s going to be away, I accommodate that in the schedule. But then you throw in the night games so the work day is longer; but not compared to some other working dads.”
Weights’ other family is his young team, where many of the guys refer to him as a father figure. “Everyone but me is younger than 30. We’ve had some of the kids live with us sometimes. You just have to talk to them and be there for them,” he says. “Part of my job is to be here for those guys to lend an ear and be a mentor. First and foremost I still challenge myself and come to the rink and enjoy myself.”
His team members would agree. Kyle Okposo, the team’s 22-year-old assistant captain, says: “Doug has been instrumental in my development as a player on and off the ice and I know he’s been just as helpful to the rest of the many young guys we have on this team. He’s always there to answer questions from any of us. He leads by example and is always working hard. All we have to do is look at the career he’s had and it’s something that everyone in the locker room wants to emulate.”
Because of the nature of Doug’s sport, the Weights have moved often in the past several years. But they just bought a house here, so they’re putting down roots. “We all love it here,” he says. “I love the North Shore, the drive to school, the golf courses, the Sound, the views, the fact that you’re able to drive to Jones Beach and the Hamptons, and it’s a 30-minute train ride to the greatest city in the world.”
While Weight is nearing the end of his career, he says that he wants to continue to be part of the game. “First and foremost I want to be a dad and experience everything I can with my kids and help raise them and enjoy my time with them because time goes so fast before they’re in college,” he says.
“But as for hockey, I’ve been a part of this game since I was two years old on skates and it’s brought everything to my life over the last 18 years,” Weight continues. “I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve met, the organizations I’ve played with. I think I’ve established an amount of respect that it would be fun to transfer this into doing something within the game, but I’m not sure yet what. I might take some time off, but I want to be a part of watching this game for the rest of my life. I have a good life. There are a lot of things the game has given me and my family.”
But meanwhile, he has to run to the “dad limo;” his kids are waiting for him.
Liza N. Burby is publisher of Long Island Parent magazine.