July 9, 2011

Weinrich takes job in Buffalo

Eric Weinrich and his family will continue to live in Maine while he becomes a regional scout for the Sabres.

By Steve Solloway ssolloway@pressherald.com
Columnist

Eric Weinrich will get a new position with the Buffalo Sabres that won't require him to uproot himself or his family from Maine. The former NHL veteran defenseman and Portland Pirates assistant coach confirmed Friday that he will work as a regional scout and take on other assignments for the Sabres.

In fact, Weinrich was at work with the Sabres this week in Niagara Falls, N.Y., at a team prospect camp, evaluating free agents and players in their first three years with the organization.

He spoke recently with Sabres GM Darcy Regier about his future. Weinrich's appointment should be finalized soon.

"I was hoping there would be a head coaching job open in Rochester but that didn't happen," said Weinrich. "Now I get to stay in Portland and to help out on the pro side of the organization."

The former North Yarmouth Academy and University of Maine star was Kevin Dineen's assistant for three seasons when the Pirates were affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks, then the Sabres. Buffalo decided to move its AHL affiliation back to Rochester and Dineen accepted his first NHL head coaching job with the Florida Panthers.

The Phoenix Coyotes are the Pirates' new partners and three weeks ago, Weinrich believed he and the Sabres would part. Buffalo was actually the first team to draft him in 1984 and then found he was underage.

"I moved around quite a bit in my career," said Weinrich, who played for eight franchises. "One year I was with three different teams and we moved five times. Moving around like that isn't easy with a family. I'm pretty comfortable here."

"Here" actually means Cousins Island, a part of Yarmouth. Eric and Tracy Weinrich's two children attend Yarmouth High, where Ben will be a senior on the Class C championship football team and Emily is on the crew team.

Even as a Pirates assistant coach, Weinrich had limited opportunities to see his children compete.

Becoming a head coach in pro hockey still "intrigues" him.

The Sabres' prospect camp entails a lot of video meetings, a lot of talk on the Sabres' philosophy on hockey

"It gives the team a chance help the players get on the right path. They've had the camp for the past six seasons. It's a good idea."

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

ssolloway@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveSolloway

 

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