Mitch Love’s Path from WHL Standout to NHL Coach
Mitch Love’s Path from WHL Standout to NHL Coach

Mitch Love’s Path from WHL Standout to NHL Coach

After an extensive 14-year playing career that included time in the WHL, AHL, and CHL, Mitch Love has evolved as one of the bright hockey minds in the game. The current Assistant Coach of the Washington Capitals has spent 13 years behind the bench guiding his players to greatness both on and off the ice. 

The product of Quesnel, British Columbia, was put on skates at the age of three. At age 15, Love decided to leave home to pursue his hockey career, joining Notre Dame College’s Hockey program in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. While enhancing his hockey skills, Love felt the experience of leaving home at a young age helped him grow as a human being and allowed him to mature at a young age in his hockey career. 

Love grew up going to games in the Western Hockey League with his father and told his dad that this was the league he wanted to play in. He made the jump to the WHL, walking on the Moose Jaw Warriors roster in 1999. Love was then traded to the Swift Current Broncos, where he posted 327 penalty minutes, including 40 fights in his second season with the club. The final stint of Love’s 320-game career in the WHL was with the Everett Silvertips, where he donned the C for the 2004-2005 season. Love’s impact on Everett both on and off the ice was immense; he is the only player in the Silvertips organization to have their number retired.

Mitch Love - 2024 TCS Live - Presenter - Everett Silvertips
Former player and coach, Mitch Love had his number retired by the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.

In 2005 Love made the transition to the American Hockey League signing as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche. In five seasons in the AHL, the stay-at-home shutdown defenceman recorded 808 penalty minutes. Love played an additional season in the Canadian Hockey League with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs.

The ferocious style of Love’s game caused the end of his playing career. Unsure about what he wanted to do, Love felt the only education he had was the game of hockey and he wanted to stay involved with the sport. In 2011, Love went back to the place he knew best and was hired by Doug Soetaert as the Everett Silvertips’ Assistant Coach. 

Mitch Love - 2024 TCS Live - Presenter - Saskatoon Blades
After starting his coaching career back in Everett, Love was given his first head coaching opportunity with the Saskatoon Blades.

Love spent seven years with the Silvertips between 2011 and 2018. After growing and fine-tuning his coaching style, the Saskatoon Blades gave Love his first opportunity as a Head Coach. Throughout his three seasons with Saskatoon, he steered the Blades to an impressive 95-44-12-4 record. 

The success that Love demonstrated at the junior development level earned him an Assistant Coaching position for Canada’s 2020 World Junior Team which brought home a gold medal in Czechia. Love returned to that position the following year helping to capture a silver medal.

Mitch Love - 2024 TCS Live - Presenter - Team Canada
Mitch Love served as an Assistant Coach for the Canadian Men’s National team during both the 2020 & 2021 World Junior Championships.

After a decade of coaching in the WHL, Love made the transition to the AHL serving as the Head Coach for the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate the Stockton Heat in 2021-22 and the Calgary Wranglers in 2022-23. Love achieved tremendous success earning consecutive Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Awards as the AHL’s Most Outstanding Coach of the Season. Love became only the third-ever coach to achieve this award in back-to-back seasons and the first to do so in his first two seasons in the league. 

Mitch Love - 2024 TCS Live - Presenter - Calgary Wranglers
Mitch Love was the recipient of the Louis A.R Pieri Memorial award during his first 2 seasons with the Calgary Wranglers.

With Love’s stellar resume and level of proven success, the Washington Capitals hired him as an assistant coach last summer. In his first season, Love worked primarily with the defencemen and helped the Capitals qualify for the 2023-24 Stanley Cup Playoffs.   

Get your TCS Live tickets to see Love and the rest of the TCS presenters up close and in person!

The Coaches Site Live - TCS Live - Registration Banner

Jack Strassner

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Jack Strassner grew up playing hockey in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Jack is a rising junior majoring in Sport Management, with a concentration in Marketing and Management, along with a minor in Coaching and Leadership, at the University of Michigan.