Armstrong Named CHL Coach of the Year

Denver CutthroatsThe Central Hockey League announced today that Denver Cutthroats Head Coach Derek Armstrong has been selected the recipient of the 2013-14 Central Hockey League Coach of the Year award following balloting among all CHL head coaches.The Coach of the Year award is ‘presented annually to the Central Hockey League coach adjudged to have contributed most to his team’s success.’

Through March 27, Armstrong has guided the Cutthroats to the second best record in the CHL at 36-16-11 (83 points) and in two seasons with Denver has a 66-42-21 mark.

Armstrong serves as the Cutthroats President as well as Head Coach and manages one of the top National Hockey League/American Hockey League affiliations in the history of the CHL (Colorado Avalanche and Lake Erie Monsters).  For the second consecutive season, the Cutthroats lead the league in players called-up to the American Hockey League sending 10 different players on 15 total call-ups (last season was nine players seeing 12 total call-ups).

The Ottawa native has had turnover all season long seeing 35 different players on the roster and has mentored his team to four separate win streak of five games or more highlighted by a 10-0-1 stretch over the month of March.

In this year’s voting, Armstrong appeared on all nine ballots he was eligible (coaches were not permitted to vote for themselves) finishing with four first place votes, two second place votes and three third place votes (29 points).  Coming in second place with 21 votes was Quad City’s Terry Ruskowski and finishing third with 19 points was Missouri’s Scott Hillman.

CHL Coach of the Year Balloting

1st 2nd 3rd Total
Derek Armstrong 4 2 3 29
Terry Ruskowski 3 1 3 21
Scott Hillman 1 4 2 19

As a player, Armstrong was drafted by the New York Islanders in the sixth round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft and he played in 477 NHL games (scored 72 goals with 149 assists).  The 40-year-olds playing career ended after the 2009-10 season where he had 36 points in 46 games with Peoria of the American Hockey League.  In 2000-01, Armstrong won the AHL’s scoring Championship with 101 point (32-69-101) and the AHL’s Most Valuable Player Award (Les Cunningham Award) and in 1999-00, the forward led his team to the AHL title while being named the Playoff MVP with 23 points (7-16=23) in 23 games.

CHL Coach of the Year (winners since 2001)
2013-14 – Derek Armstrong (Denver)
2012-13 – Dan Wildfong (Fort Worth)
2011-12 – Kevin McClelland (Wichita)
2010-11 – Jason Christie (Bloomington)
2009-10 – Joe Ferras (Rapid City)
2008-09 – Kevin Kaminski (Mississippi)
2007-08 – Scott Muscutt (Bossier-Shreveport)
2006-07 – Kevin McClelland (Memphis)
2005-06 – Terry Ruskowski (Laredo)
2004-05 – Chris Dashney (Lubbock)
2003-04 – Ray Edwards (San Angelo)
2002-03 – Ken McRae (Indianapolis)
2001-02 – Don McKee (Odessa)