PORTLAND — The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen and assistant Eric Weinrich for the 2010-11 American Hockey League season.

“We are delighted to have Kevin and Eric returning to coach the Portland Pirates,” said Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier. “They have done an excellent job in respect to our young players and their development within the organization. As we continue to grow our young prospects, we are confident their success in the National Hockey League can be attributed to their time spent with such quality individuals that we have in place in Portland.”

“We are thrilled to have both Kevin and Eric behind the Pirates bench for another season,” said Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek. “Within the hockey world, Kevin has developed into and now become one of the top pro coaches in the business and he has proven by his outstanding coaching record and by the young players he has developed that he is as talented as they get in his profession.

“Eric’s impact as an Assistant Coach with the Pirates has been outstanding. He has been able to translate the successes he enjoyed as a world class blueliner into an ability to communicate with our young players and help develop them with his knowledge and experience.”

Dineen, named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach in 2005-06, is heading into his sixth season as the head coach of the Pirates. The 46 year-old is the longest tenured head coach in Pirates franchise history and stands as the franchise leader in games coached (400), wins (219) and winning percentage (.610). The Quebec City, Quebec native guided the Pirates to a second place finish in the Atlantic Division in 2009-10 with a record of 45-24-7-4.

“I am very excited to back as part of the Buffalo Sabres organization,” Dineen said. “My family and I are thrilled to return to Portland for a sixth season as we continue our effort of reaching our goal to win a Calder Cup Championship for the great fans of Portland.”

This will mark Weinrich’s third full season as an Assistant Coach under Dineen. He also started the 2006-07 season as an Assistant on Dineen’s coaching staff but chose to step back onto the ice and resume his playing career with the Pirates.

“I expressed to Darcy (Regier) that I really enjoyed being part of the organization and was hoping that they would consider resigning me and he said they would be happy to have me back,” Weinrich said.

“I’ve been associated with Kevin in one way or another for the past four seasons and I look forward to working with him again and learning all I can from his experience and leadership of the team.”

“It’s great to have Eric back as part of my staff,” said Dineen. “He brings a wealth of NHL and AHL experience and does a great job mentoring our young defensemen.”

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