Maine Hockey Journal

Weinrich Breaks from Retirement

Portland, ME – So much for retirement.

Anaheim Ducks Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations and Portland Pirates General Manager Bob Murray announced that the team has signed defenseman Eric Weinrich to a professional tryout (PTO) agreement, effective Thursday, January 25th.

Eric Weinrich, who played 19 seasons in the NHL, signed the PTO less than six months since he announced his retirement at a press conference back in August in Portland.

For Weinrich, coming out of retirement seemed like the right thing to do as the itch to get back into the game became too great.

He will likely make his return in Portland on Friday as they face the Providence Bruins, which should help a defense searching for an identity and much needed veteran leadership.

“Eric has brought a vast array of experience and knowledge to our organization,” said Pirates’ Head Coach Kevin Dineen. “He will now be able to share these attributes on the ice as a teammate. We look forward to the second half of the season.”

Signing with the Pirates allows Weinrich to not have to worry about uprooting his family, but at the same time he’ll be playing for another team in Maine, a place that carries a special place in his heart.

“The moment that I step out there for warm up, it’s gonna sink in and it will be a feeling that I’ve probably never experienced before,” said Weinrich. “It’s a really special feeling.”

Weinrich jokingly mentioned it to Anaheim one day, only to have a serious offer made a few weeks later.

“The actual thought of the whole thing just kind of came up in conversation as sort of a joke, we were just all joking around about the team,” said Weinrich “I don’t know if they took what I said seriously, but all of a sudden a couple weeks later it was a serious question and then I had to seriously think about it.”

For the last several days, he had been skating with the team leading to the speculation that he may be coming out of retirement, but it wasn’t confirmed until Wednesday after practice and Weinrich is happy to start this new chapter in his life.

“The Anaheim organization gave me the opportunity to stay in hockey and stay in Maine this summer as a coach. It was a great chance for me to stay in the game I love and settle the family in Maine,” said Weinrich. “Now, Kevin Dineen and the Anaheim Ducks presented me with the scenario of becoming a player again. To live at home, not change the daily routine much and still have the same home with my family has made the decision almost a no-brainer. I still have the desire to compete and I would love to win in Portland.”

Weinrich will wear #2 for the Portland Pirates.

Files from CJ Nordenson were used in this report

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