In his fifth season as head coach, Gordon has led the Bruins to a league-best 53-16-3-4 record (113 points) with four games still remaining. Providence has already secured the Atlantic Division title and the best record in the Eastern Conference, and the team is on the verge of claiming the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as regular-season league champions. Gordon has kept his club in first place in the Atlantic every day since Oct. 28, while also preparing players like David Krejci, Petteri Nokelainen, Vladimir Sobotka, Matt Lashoff, Matt Hunwick, Pascal Pelletier and Tuukka Rask to make contributions in the NHL with the parent Boston Bruins.
Gordon’s Bruins rank second in the AHL in offense averaging 3.55 goals per game, and are first in both shots on goal taken (34.24) and fewest shots allowed (25.55) per contest. Providence is also a perfect 32-0-0-0 when leading after two periods, the second straight year they have posted an unblemished record in that situation.
A 45-year-old native of Easton, Mass., Gordon played parts of six seasons as a goaltender in the AHL from 1986-92, and was a member of the United States’ team at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France. He joined Providence as an assistant coach in 2000 and became the Bruins’ head coach on Mar. 19, 2003, when Mike Sullivan was promoted to Boston. Coach of the PlanetUSA team at the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic earlier this season, Gordon enters Wednesday’s action with a career record of 219-153-33 (.581) in 405 games as Providence’s head coach.
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. 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), Claude Julien (2003), Claude Noel (2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2005), Kevin Dineen (2006) and Mike Haviland (2007).
Currently in its 72nd season of play, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 83 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 6 million fans have attended AHL games across North America in each of the past six seasons. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.