MANCHESTER, NH ? The Manchester Monarchs, the primary affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, have extended the contracts of Head Coach Mark Morris and Assistant Coach Scott Pellerin for another season, Monarchs General Manager Ron Hextall announced Wednesday.
Morris and Pellerin have been the bench bosses of the Monarchs squad for the last two seasons and coached the team to 90 wins, 52 loss, 12 overtime losses and six shootout losses. Winning the first playoff round in franchise history during the 2006-07 season, the coaches guided the team to the Eastern Conference finals during their rookie year.
"I'm excited to be returning to Manchester for the upcoming season and I look forward to working with Scott Pellerin, Hubie McDonough, the players and the entire Monarchs organization," said Morris. "Coaching in Manchester has been a wonderful experience. It's a great environment here. The people, the facilities, the warmth and support of the community are top-notch. A coach couldn't ask for more."
"We are very pleased to reach this agreement with Mark," Hextall said. "I had approached Mark about an extension during the season and we are pleased to make this announcement today. Mark is a consummate professional who has helped elevate our club. He is a good leader, a solid communicator and he has not only helped in the critical area of player development but he has also fostered a winning attitude."
Morris, 50, coached the Clarkson University Golden Knights to 10 consecutive 20-plus win seasons during his 14 year rein. Hired by Clarkson in 1988, Morris compiled an overall record of 306-156-42 in 504 regular season games and a playoff record of 39-19-1. His teams appeared in 14 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments, five ECAC League championships, three ECAC tournament championships, nine NCAA tournament appearances, one Frozen Four appearance, three Quarterfinal appearances and five First Round appearances. He is the winningest coach in the history of Clarkson University and the team won eight ECAC titles in his 14 seasons head coach. Morris received the ECAC Coach of the Year Award in 1991 and 2001. His team won the Humanitarian Award in 1999.
During his college coaching career Morris coached three Stanley Cup winners, Erik Cole (Carolina Hurricanes), Todd Marchant (Anaheim Ducks) and Kent Huskins (Anaheim Ducks). Other notable NHL players who played for Morris include: Craig Conroy (Calgary Flames), Chris Clark (Washington Capitals), Willie Mitchell (Vancouver Canucks), Randy Jones (Philadelphia Flyers), Todd White (Atlanta Thrashers), as well as Jarmo Kekalainen (Assistant General Manager/Director of Amateur Scouting for the St. Louis Blues).
Following his time at Clarkson University, Morris served as the Special Assistant Coach/Interim Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Vancouver Canucks from February 2003 to April 2003 under current Kings Head Coach Marc Crawford. Morris moved on to be the Interim Assistant Coach for the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club of the Ontario Hockey League from November 2003 to March 2004.
From 2004-06, Morris was the Director of Boy's Hockey, the Boy's Junior Hockey Coach and an Administrator (Admissions and Advancement) for Northwood School. In 2004-05, Northwood finished the season with a record of 32-11-4. The team set a new school record for most wins in a season with a record of 40-8-0 under Morris' supervision during the 2005-06 season. Northwood was named the St. Andrew's College Tournament Champions and the Culver Academy Midwest Prep School Tournament Champions in 2006.
Morris is a 1977 graduate of Northwood School and a 1981 graduate of Colgate University. After graduation, Morris signed with the Los Angeles Kings where he played three years of professional hockey with the Central Hockey League's Dallas Black Hawks (1981-82) and the AHL's New Haven Nighthawks (1982-84). He began his coaching ranks with Union College as the Men's Varsity Hockey Assistant Coach and Junior Varsity Coach for the 1984-85 season. The team was the ECAC West Division II Champions and a Semi-Finalist in the NCAA Division III Championship. Preceding his 14-year reign at Clarkson University, Morris served as the Men's Varsity Hockey Assistant Coach for St. Lawrence University for three seasons, 1985-88.
Morris and his wife Cecily reside in Massena, New York, and are the proud parents of four children, Michael (a recent graduate from State University of New York at Geneseo and a member of the SUNYAC Championship/NCAA Division III Men's Hockey Team. This past season he helped coach the Livonia/Geneseo High School Hockey Team), Emily (a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she captained the Badgers Women's Hockey team in her senior season and helped her team win back-to-back National Championships in 2006 and 2007), Leah (a Junior Fine Arts major at Boston University) and Kevin (a sophomore High School scholar athlete who was a member of the 2008 New York State Division I Boy's State High School Championship Team. He also plays lacrosse and soccer).
Pellerin, 38, is a veteran of 840 NHL and AHL games during his 13-year playing career from 1992-2004. He collected 72 goals, 126 assists and 198 points in 536 NHL games with the New Jersey Devils, the St. Louis Blues, the Minnesota Wild, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Boston Bruins, the Dallas Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes.
"My family and I are thrilled about coming back to be a part of the Manchester Monarchs coaching staff," said Pellerin. "It is an honor to be involved with such a great organization. We have the best fans in the AHL and we are all excited about the future development of our players and our quest to bring the Calder Cup to the Queen City. I look forward to working with the Kings organization, their prospects and to be a part of Mark Morris and Hubie McDonough's staff."
"Scott is a very valuable member of our coaching staff," explained Hextall. "His experiences as a former player are a valuable asset in his crucial role of creating a winning environment and in the development of our young players."
As a 1988 graduate of the University of Maine, Pellerin was Co-Rookie of the Year in 1988, an All-American, Player of the Year in 1992, Most Valuable Player for the Hockey East Tournament in 1992 and the 1992 Hobey Baker winner. He was the Devils' third round draft pick (47th overall) in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft and signed his first professional contract with New Jersey in 1992.
The native of Shediac, New Brunswick, represented Canada in the Goodwill Games in Seattle, Washington, and also won a Gold Medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in Finland in 1990. He was a member of the 1995 Calder Cup winning Albany River Rats and the AHL's 1995-96 regular season champions, again as a member of the River Rats. Pellerin was also a part of the St. Louis team that won the Presidents' Trophy, awarded to the NHL team with the best record at the end of the regular season, in 1999-2000.
In the community, Pellerin was voted as one of the top 100 good guys by "The Sporting News" for his charitable work with Pelly's Pets on the Blues' web site in conjunction with the local animal shelters.
Pellerin and his wife Jennifer have three children, Jordan (9), Jacob (7) and Julia (3), and reside in Windham, New Hampshire.