Full writeup by beat writer Jonathon Bombulie at his wonderful blog

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Head Coach John Hynes has been named Coach of the Year for the AHL this season.

He was handed a loaded roster with tons of youth and veteran talent – and watched as that roster was decimated by Pittsburgh throughout the season.

His team never blinked and finished with the best record in the AHL.

Hynes has done a wonderful job adapting and pulling the right strings with young guys like Ben Street, Nick Petersen, Carl Sneep, and Keven Veilleux as well as veterans like Brett Sterling, Ryan Craig, and Chris Collins.

From JB’s blog:

Teams with the best record in the league don’t usually win coach of the year awards, but in this case, it makes perfect sense.

The Penguins were winning at .750 clip when, in the first week of February, their roster was totally wrecked by call-ups and injuries. Their top seven scorers went up to Pittsburgh. Three of them never returned. Since then, they’re playing at a .710 clip.

To see such a slight drop-off in results after such a major drop-off in personnel is an amazing feat. Hynes said it’s a tribute to the players who stepped in and made the most of an opportunity. That’s true, but coaching had a huge hand in it too.