by Kate Shefte
Chad LaRose scored his first of the season and Eric Staal and Rod Brind'Amour tallied goals for Carolina in the team's 4-3 over the New York Islanders Saturday night, but the story of the night was Doug Weight's borderline-dirty hit on Brandon Sutter, who had just helped to give the 'Canes the lead. The 19-year-old rookie was knocked unconscious and had to be helped off the ice.
Weight, who was an invaluable part of the 'Canes 2006 cup run and iconically lifted the cup with one arm after injuring his shoulder in game 5, is by all accounts a classy guy and a beloved part of Hurricanes' history, even though he has played for two other teams since. However, there was nothing classy about leveling the teenage Sutter right in front of the Hurricanes bench with a Scott Stevens-esque blow. Weight clearly went for Sutter, not the puck, and Sutter may have suffered a concussion as a result. Sutter is coming into his own earlier than expected, scoring the 'Canes' only goal against the Penguins on Wednesday and setting up Chad LaRose's go-ahead goal against the Islanders. This injury, depending on how severe it is, could hamper his progress significantly. And it was all because Doug Weight lost his temper.
Eric Staal said in the post-game that would never have expected Weight to make that sort of play, and surely people around the Triangle share in that sentiment. Doug Weight, that smiling, genuine team player took out a rookie in a hit that may not have been dirty, but it was certainly malicious. Upon the review, the league may choose to punish Weight; if not, he has a price on his head when the 'Canes next play the Islanders. The Hurricanes got the win, but all that matters now is that Sutter has a speedy recovery.