Amerks’ Cunneyworth wins Pieri Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Randy Cunneyworth of the Rochester Americans has been named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2004-05 season, as voted by members of the media in each of the league’s 28 cities.

Currently in his fifth season as head coach of the Americans, Cunneyworth has guided Rochester to the best record in the American Hockey League heading into the final week of the regular season at 49-16-4-6, good for 108 points and a league-leading .720 points percentage entering Monday’s action. The Amerks clinched their 16th consecutive berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs back on Mar. 13, and wrapped up the Sam Pollock Trophy and the North Division title on Apr. 3.

A 43-year-old native of Etobicoke, Ont., Cunneyworth played six seasons of his 19-year professional career in Rochester, winning a Calder Cup championship with the Amerks in 1983 and returning to the Finals in 1999 and again as an assistant coach in 2000. He was promoted to head coach in 2000-01, and has a compiled a record of 195-146-54 (.562) in his five years at the helm in Rochester.

The Louis A.R. Pieri Award, which was first presented in 1968, honors the late Mr. Pieri, a long-time contributor to the AHL as the owner of the Providence Reds. Pieri also served as the general manager of three Calder Cup champions (1938, 1940, 1949) in Providence.

Cunneyworth is the third Rochester coach to win the Pieri Award, joining Don Cherry (1974) and Don Lever (1991). Other previous winners of the award include Frank Mathers (1969), Fred Shero (1970), Al MacNeil (1972, ’77), Floyd Smith (1973), John Muckler (1975), Jacques Demers (1983), Larry Pleau (1987), Mike Milbury (1988), John Paddock (1988), Marc Crawford (1993), Barry Trotz (1994), Robbie Ftorek (1995, ’96), Peter Laviolette (1999), Glen Hanlon (2000), Don Granato (2001), Bruce Cassidy (2002), Claude Julien (2003) and Claude Noel (2004).

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. This season, more than 6.3 million fans have attended AHL games to date, and 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.

Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award
2004-05Randy Cunneyworth, Rochester
2003-04Claude Noel, Milwaukee
2002-03Claude Julien and
Geoff Ward, Hamilton
2001-02Bruce Cassidy, Grand Rapids
2000-01Don Granato, Worcester
1999-2000Glen Hanlon, Portland
1998-99Peter Laviolette, Providence
1997-98Bill Stewart, Saint John
1996-97Greg Gilbert, Worcester
1995-96Robbie Ftorek, Albany
1994-95Robbie Ftorek, Albany
1993-94Barry Trotz, Portland
1992-93Marc Crawford, St. John’s
1991-92Doug Carpenter, New Haven
1990-91Don Lever, Rochester
1989-90Jim Roberts, Springfield
1988-89Tom McVie, Utica
1987-88John Paddock, Hershey;
Mike Milbury, Maine (tie)
1986-87Larry Pleau, Binghamton
1985-86Bill Dineen, Adirondack
1984-85Bill Dineen, Adirondack
1983-84Gene Ubriaco, Baltimore
1982-83Jacques Demers, Fredericton
1981-82Larry Kish, Binghamton
1980-81Bob McCammon, Maine
1979-80Doug Gibson, Hershey
1978-79Parker MacDonald, New Haven
1977-78Bob McCammon, Maine
1976-77Al MacNeil, Nova Scotia
1975-76Chuck Hamilton, Hershey
1974-75John Muckler, Providence
1973-74Don Cherry, Rochester
1972-73Floyd Smith, Cincinnati
1971-72Al MacNeil, Nova Scotia
1970-71Terry Reardon, Baltimore
1969-70Fred Shero, Buffalo
1968-69Frank Mathers, Hershey
1967-68Vic Stasiuk, Quebec