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Pirates’ Weinrich back on ice

The Portland Pirates announced on Thursday that the team has signed defenseman Eric Weinrich to a professional tryout (PTO) contract.

Weinrich, a Maine native, has been serving as the Pirates’ assistant coach since announcing his retirement six months ago. At the time, he had finished his NHL career playing in 1,157 games with 388 points (70 goals, 318 assists).

“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, 40, competed for 18 seasons in the NHL with Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Montreal, New Jersey, Philadelphia, St. Louis and most recently with Vancouver. During his NHL career, Weinrich was named to the All-Rookie Team in his first year with the New Jersey Devils in 1991.

Prior to his NHL career, Weinrich played in the AHL with the Utica Devils, and in 1989-90 was named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman.