American Hockey League

Admirals’ Taylor voted AHL’s top coach for 2019-20

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Karl Taylor of the Milwaukee Admirals is the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2019-20 season.

The award is voted on by fellow coaches and members of the media in each of the league’s 31 cities.

Under Taylor’s guidance, the Admirals finished with the best record in their 19 seasons of play in the American Hockey League in 2019-20, going 41-14-5-3 (90 points, .714) and capturing the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as regular-season champions. Milwaukee allowed a league-low 2.24 goals per game and ranked seventh in scoring (3.35) – the third-highest goals-per-game differential (+1.11) in the AHL in the last decade – and established a team record with a 13-game winning streak from Nov. 2 to Dec. 1. Milwaukee’s special teams were outstanding in 2019-20 as well, ranking second in the league on the power play (25.2 percent) and sixth in penalty killing (85.5 percent).

Taylor, who coached the Central Division team at the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic, has sent nine of his Admirals players to the National Hockey League to compete with the Nashville Predators this season, and has overseen the development of Predators prospects such as Yakov Trenin, Alexandre Carrier, Eeli Tolvanen, Tommy Novak, Rem Pitlick, Jeremy Davies and Second Team AHL All-Star goaltender Connor Ingram.

A 49-year-old native of North Bay, Ont., Taylor joined the Admirals as head coach on June 29, 2018, following four seasons as an assistant with the Texas Stars, where his teams reached the Calder Cup Playoffs three times and made a trip to the Finals in 2018. He also served as an assistant with the Chicago Wolves in 2011-12, and was a head coach in the ECHL with Reading (2005-08) and Ontario (2008-11).

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), 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) and Mike Vellucci (2019).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 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 2019-20 Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award (outstanding goaltender) will be announced on Tuesday.

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