Eric Weinrich faced a bit of uncertainty this summer about the future of his hockey career. He knew he would fit into the Portland Pirates' plans somewhere, and in recent months he continued to train as if he was preparing for another season.Sure, it's easy to poke fun of guys like Weinrich and Luke Richardson, who reach their best-before dates and continue to play, but I honestly have a lot of respect for veterans who opt to play in the AHL to finish their careers.
Now he has answers: The 40-year-old defenseman will return to the Pirates as a player in the 2007-08 season.
Weinrich originally retired and signed on as an assistant coach with the Pirates last summer, but really wanted to play and became a regular on the blueline in January. Now, he's back for another go.
Here's a guy with nearly 1,200 NHL games played, and he's not quite ready to stop. The Pirates are essentially a hometown team for the veteran, and he's said it's been a real thrill to play close to his family to end his career.