Jackman proud of ex-teammate's hall of fame induction

News-DemocratDecember 4, 2013 

— Barret Jackman is hardly surprised that former St. Louis Blues teammate and recent U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Doug Weight has remained active in the game.

The always colorful Weight returns to St. Louis on Thursday as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders.

"Absolutely. Dougie's a great student of the game, he was always watching video at home," Jackman said. "He was always asking questions, drawing up plays for the power play. He gets along great and is able to communicate at every level of the game."

Weight was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame earlier this week and Jackman couldn't be prouder. Jackman compared it to the pride he felt when another former Blues forward, Keith Tkachuk, received the same honor.

Another former Blues forward, Bill Guerin, also was inducted this week.

"It's amazing. Two years ago I went to see Walt's presentation in Chicago and Dougie's right at that level," Jackman said. "I love the guy and Billy Guerin as well, both guys have really done so much for USA Hockey."

Weight's NHL career began in 1991 with the New York Rangers and lasted until 2011 with the Islanders.

Weight played on three Team USA Olympic squads (1998, 2002 and 2006) and also was part of the 1996 U.S. squad that upset Canada at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey tournament.

Weight played with the Blues from 2001 to 2006, then again in the 2006-07 season. His Blues career included 75 goals and 295 points in 364 games.

Guerin played with the Blues in 2006-07 and had 28 goals and 47 points in 61 games.

Guerin also played on the 1996 World Cup gold medal team and also played for Team USA in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics.

The Rangers' second-round draft pick in 1990, Weight finished his NHL career with 278 goals and 1,033 points in 1,238 games with the Rangers, Edmonton, the Blues, Carolina, Anaheim and the New York Islanders.

He also won a a Stanley Cup championship in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Guerin had 429 goals and 856 points in 1,263 games with New Jersey, Edmonton, Boston, Dallas, the Blues, San Jose, the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh.

The international line

The Blues may have found a highly effective international line combination with Czech Republic native Vladimir Sobotka centering Russian winger Vladimir Tarasenko and Canadian Jaden Schwartz.

Schwartz has three goals and eight points during a seven-game points streak.

Tarasenko and Sobotka each have two goals and three points in their last five games, with Tarasenko notching a goal and assist Monday against the Kings.

"That line has been terrific, it was a great line in all three games on the road," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They've earned the right to be thought of as a good line and kept together. I was really, really impressed with the way they played, specially the way they played in Los Angeles.

"I think they're feeding off of each other's effort and determination."

What's the secret to the line's success?

"They're not big guys, but they play a big game and that's where they deserve all kinds of credit," Hitchcock said. "They're on top of the puck, they hound the puck, they get it back. They're determined to stay with it."

Scouting the Islanders

Hitchcock said Jaroslav Halak would start in goal Thursday against the Islanders, with Ian Cole back in on defense replacing Carlo Colaiacovo.

The Islanders (8-15-5) are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

"That's the best I've seen somebody play against Pittsburgh in a month, other than us," Hitchcock said. "They've gotten through the frustration and if that's the game we're going to get, we're going to get a hell of a game."

The Islanders are winless in their last seven games (0-5-2) with just two wins in their last 10. This is their first meeting against St. Louis since a 5-1 Blues victory on Feb. 16, 2012.

Islanders star center John Tavares is the third-leading scorer in the NHL with 11 goals and 32 points in 28 games. Kyle Okposo has eight goals and 25 points and Frans Nielsen has 10 goals and 22 points.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or on Twitter @NormSanders

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