Maine Hockey Journal

Weinrich named development coach for New Jersey Devils

Yarmouth native Eric Weinrich has been hired by the Devils as a development coach.

Yarmouth native Eric Weinrich has been hired by the Devils as a development coach.

The New Jersey Devils announced Sunday that former Portland Pirates Assistant Coach Eric Weinrich has been hired as a development coach for the team.

Weinrich, who currently resides in Yarmouth, will join Pertti Hasanen, Patrick Rissmiller and Scott Clemmensen on the team’s development staff and work primarily with defensemen in the organization’s American Hockey League affiliate in Albany, New York.

Weinrich has been a pro scout with the Buffalo Sabres for the past four season after they moved the affiliation from Portland back to Rochester, NY.

He has played 1,157 regular-season NHL games over 17 seasons with New Jersey, Hartford, Chicago, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Vancouver, scoring 70 goals and 318 assists for 388 points and 825 penalty minutes. He’s scored six goals and 23 assists in 81 playoff games.

Weinrich retired from the NHL in 2006 to become an assistant coach with the Pirates, who were affiliated at the time with the Anaheim Ducks.

Retirement, however, was short-lived as he signed a professional tryout with the Pirates. He played two more seasons with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate before finally retiring in 2008 and returning to the bench as an assistant coach for the Pirates who switch affiliates for the Sabres.

Weinrich, 48, was born in Roanoke, Virginia, but was raised in Rumford. He was a standout defenseman at North Yarmouth Academy, and later attended the University of Maine where he played two seasons for the Black Bears.

He left UMaine after eight games into his junior season in 1987, joining the United States National Men’s Hockey Team where he took part in 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta.

Weinrich is rejoining the organization that drafted him with 32nd overall pick in 1985. He made his pro debut with the Utica Devils in 1988, appearing in 137 games from 1988-90, and was the recipient of the Eddie Shore Award in 1990 as the AHL’s top defenseman.

“Eric has a strong track record as a leader over his 23-year professional hockey career. We look to benefit from his time as a player and recent experience in coaching,” said Devils’ General Manager Ray Shero in a press release. “As a former Devils’ draft pick and someone who spent the early part of his career with the New Jersey organization, we feel that he can provide a unique perspective to the young players. His primary focus will be working with our defensive prospects in Albany and throughout the system.”

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