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Norfolk’s Haviland wins Louis A.R. Pieri Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Mike Haviland of the Norfolk Admirals has been named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2006-07 season, as voted by members of the media in each of the league’s 27 cities.

In his second season with the Admirals, Haviland has guided the club to the best record in franchise history. With five games remaining, Norfolk’s 48 wins and 103 points are already the highest totals in the 28-year history of professional hockey in Hampton Roads. The Admirals rank third in the American Hockey League in offense, averaging 3.76 goals per game, and first in the league on the power play at 21.4 percent efficiency. Entering Friday’s home season finale, the Admirals are one victory shy of tying the American Hockey League single-season record of 33 home wins.

Haviland has kept his club, one of the youngest in the AHL, at or near the top of the overall league standings all season while also seeing 22 different players earn recalls to the parent Chicago Blackhawks, including rookies Troy Brouwer, David Bolland, Adam Burish, Michael Blunden, Cam Barker and Bryan Bickell.

A 39-year-old native of Middletown, N.J., Haviland played briefly in the AHL with Binghamton in 1989-90 after an All-American career at Elmira College. Before joining the Admirals, he spent four seasons as a head coach in the ECHL, winning that league’s Kelly Cup championship with Atlantic City in 2003 and with Trenton in 2005.

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), Glen Hanlon (2000), Claude Julien (2003), Claude Noel (2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2005) and Kevin Dineen (2006).

Now in its 71st 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 6.3 million fans have attended AHL games across North America in each of the past five seasons.