July 26, 2013

Mason and Weight to be inducted into USA Hockey Hall of Fame

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Cindy Curley (Hudson, Mass.), Bill Guerin (Worcester, Mass.), Peter Karmanos, Jr. (Raleigh, N.C.), Ron Mason (East Lansing, Mich.) and Doug Weight (Warren, Mich.) have been selected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2013, USA Hockey announced Thursday. The date and location of the induction event will be announced later this summer.

Mason helped begin the Lake Superior State hockey program in 1966-67 and coached the Lakers for seven seasons. He guided the Soo Lakers to the 1972 NAIA national title. He went on to win 924 men's college hockey games over a 36-season head-coaching career at LSSU (1966-73), Bowling Green State University (1973-79) and Michigan State University (1979-2002). His win total ranks second in college hockey annals, while his winning percentage (.696, 924-380-83) is among the top 10 in the sport. He led MSU to the NCAA national title in 1986.

“I was fortunate to be at schools where hockey was important,” Mason said during Thursday’s USA Hockey teleconference. “I had a great deal of support from all of those schools. I got to know so many people in the game. It went by so quickly.”

Bud Cooper and Dr. Ken Schouldice were instrumental in helping Mason start hockey at LSSU.

“I’d have to say being able to get my first coaching job at Lake Superior State and starting their very first hockey team was probably the highlight of my career, because it gave me a chance to prove I could coach,” said Mason, who also served as MSU’s director of athletics from 2002-07. “It got me in the game, and I’ll forever thank people like Bud Cooper who hired me at the time.”

After a successful two seasons at LSSU (1989-91), Weight's NHL career spanned 19 seasons, during which he played for the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders. He wore the U.S. sweater at nine major international competitions, including three Olympic Winter Games (1998, 2002, 2006), three IIHF Men's World Championships (1993, 1994, 2005), two World Cups of Hockey (1996, 2004) and one IIHF World Junior Championship (1991). The 14 assists and 19 points that he notched for the 1991 U.S. National Junior Team are single-tournament records for the U.S. Later, he helped Team USA to the gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and received a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

“I’m so humbled and so honored to be inducted,” Weight said. “This is an amazing day for me and my family. I’m so proud of the class I get to go in with. I grew up in the Detroit area…I remember seeing (Mason) on the bench at Michigan State as long as I remember watching hockey.”

Weight was coached by his father, Doug Sr., until he was 15 years old. He was intimidated by the notion of moving out of his comfort zone when it was time to advance in his hockey career.

“I chose Lake Superior State with a lot of help from my parents,” he said. “The state of Michigan was always where I wanted to play. Moving to Lake Superior, being under Frank Anzalone for a year and then Jeff Jackson, I learned a lot about off-ice discipline and work ethic…The players there were just great, down to earth. To me, that’s how it was at Lake Superior. I still remain close to those guys. The CCHA was a great time in my life.”

Weight retired from the NHL in 2011 with 278 goals and 755 assists in1,238 games. He now runs the Junior Islanders program in New York, getting young players “not only prepared for hockey, but for life.”

Complete USA Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 press release