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