Love earns second straight Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Mitch Love of the Calgary Wranglers is the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2022-23 season.

The award is voted on by fellow coaches and members of the media in each of the league’s 32 cities. Love becomes the third coach ever to win the Pieri Award in back-to-back seasons, joining Bill Dineen (1985, 1986) and Robbie Ftorek (1995, 1996), and the first to do so in his first two seasons in the AHL.

A year after posting the best regular-season record ever by a Calgary Flames AHL affiliate, Love bettered that mark in 2022-23 by guiding the Wranglers to a record of 51-17-3-1 (106 points, .736) and the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s regular-season champions. Calgary finished fourth in the league in offense (3.56 goals per game) and first in defense (2.42 goals per game), and Love’s team led the AHL in penalty killing (85.1 percent) for the second year in a row. Love also continued to have success developing players to compete in the National Hockey League with the Flames this season, including Jakob Pelletier, Walker Duehr, Nick DeSimone, and 2022-23 First Team AHL All-Stars Dustin Wolf and Matthew Phillips.

Love has combined record of 96-33-11 (.725) in two seasons since joining the Flames organization on July 12, 2021, from Saskatoon of the Western Hockey League, where he had spent three seasons as head coach. He also served as an assistant with Everett (WHL) for seven seasons, and has coached internationally with Hockey Canada’s U17, U18 and U20 programs. Love played six seasons of professional hockey, including 278 games in the AHL with the Lowell Lock Monsters, Albany River Rats, Lake Erie Monsters, Houston Aeros and Peoria Rivermen.

The Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1968, honors the late Mr. Pieri, a long-time contributor to the AHL as the owner and general manager of the Providence Reds and a member of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame. Previous winners of the award include Frank Mathers (1969), Fred Shero (1970), Al MacNeil (1972, ’77), John Muckler (1975), Jacques Demers (1983), Bill Dineen (1985, ’86), Larry Pleau (1987), Mike Milbury (1988), John Paddock (1988), Marc Crawford (1993), Barry Trotz (1994), Robbie Ftorek (1995, ’96), Peter Laviolette (1999), Claude Julien and Geoff Ward (2003), Claude Noel (2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2005), Kevin Dineen (2006), Scott Gordon (2008), Scott Arniel (2009), John Hynes (2011), Jon Cooper (2012), Willie Desjardins (2013), Jeff Blashill (2014), Mike Stothers (2015), Rick Kowalsky (2016), Roy Sommer (2017), Pascal Vincent (2018), Mike Vellucci (2019), Karl Taylor (2020) and Spencer Carbery (2021).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The winner of the 2022-23 Eddie Shore Award (outstanding defenseman) will be announced Tuesday.