Bill Guerin and Doug Weight are the biggest names of the 2013 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class, but that’s not their only bond. They were also part of the American team that upset Canada to win the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Weight was stunned to learn that this moment resonated with members of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” team, as NHL.com reported on Thursday.
“I was just talking to [1980 U.S. Olympic captain] Mike Eruzione and he told me that our [team] had just as much importance as their team,” Weight said. “For him to say that kind of opened my eyes to the fact maybe we do have something to do with these guys coming up.”
A resounding 13 members of that World Cup roster are now in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Guerin believes that moment was pivotal in how the United States views its chances of competing with the top countries, particularly Canada.
“Canada set the bar, and we had been beaten by them a number of times and were pushed around by them,” Guerin said. “I just felt the attitude change. Not that we were better, but that we could win and we had an answer for them this time. In 1996, it was just a completely different attitude to where we didn’t care who we were going up against. We felt we were the best. The Canadians had big guys, but we had big guys. They had skill, but so did we.”
To some, that victory might have set the table for a bright new wave of American stars including Patrick Kane and Seth Jones (not to mention a slew of stud goalies, it seems).
“To say I’m proud of that moment would be an understatement,” Weight said.