Bill Guerin and Doug Weight were part of a generation of American-born hockey players inspired by the 1980 Miracle on Ice gold medal at the Lake Placid Olympics who went on to have their own golden moment for Team USA in 1996 World Cup.
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Former Devil Bill Guerin, left, and ex-Ranger Doug Weight were named to the 2013 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class.
Guerin, who was drafted fifth overall by the Devils in 1989, and Weight, drafted 34th by the Rangers in 1990, were named Thursday to the 2013 induction class of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Women’s national team pioneer Cindy Curley, longtime college coach Ron Mason (Lake Superior State, Bowling Green, Michigan State) and Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. also were selected.
The date and location of the 2013 induction ceremony will be announced later this summer.
“It’s always been an honor for me to represent my country in the game that I love so much,” said Guerin, a Wilbraham, Mass., native who played 18 seasons in the NHL and won Stanley Cups with the Devils in 1995 and Pittsburgh in 2009. “It was always a dream ever since I knew what USA Hockey was back in 1980 when the Miracle on Ice happened and I was fortunate enough to be able to live out a dream.”
As the 1980 Olympic gold was a defining moment for hockey in the U.S., so was the 1996 World Cup. It was the first time the Americans triumphed in a tournament featuring the best professional players from around the world.
The U.S. won by defeating a high-powered Canadian team featuring Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Eric Lindros in the best-of-three finals.
Weight, who won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and played 19 seasons in the NHL, recalled Hall of Famer Brett Hull saying during the pre-tournament training camp, “We’re going to win this thing.”
“He said it over and over before the tournament started that we’re the better team and over the course before that tournament started with guys like Chris Chelios and Brian Leetch and Billy and Keith Tkachuk and Mike Modano and the list goes on, I felt with [coach] Ron Wilson at the helm by the time that tournament started, we truly expected to win that tournament,” Weight said. “We didn’t hope to compete with Canada. We saw ourselves as a favorite within our room.”
Guerin and Weight were also part of the 2002 Olympic team that won the silver medal in Salt Lake City.
Guerin finished his NHL career, which included stops in New Jersey, Edmonton, Boston, Dallas, St. Louis, San Jose, the Islanders and Pittsburgh, with 429 goals and 427 assists for 856 points in 1,263 regular-season games. Weight, a Warren, Mich. native, played for the Rangers, Edmonton, St. Louis, Carolina, Anaheim and the Islanders and finished his NHL career with 278 goals and 755 assists for 1,033 points in 1,238 regular-season games.