Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announce today that they have named Mitch Love as head coach of the Stockton Heat.
Love joins the Flames organization from his most recent post with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League where he has been head coach since 2018. During that period, the Blades advanced to the WHL playoffs in two consecutive seasons and posted a 95-44-12-4 record for a .665 winning percentage (top five in the WHL over that span). Prior to joining the Blades, the native of Quesnel, BC was an assistant coach with the Everett Silvertips for seven seasons, in which the team made the playoffs each year, including an appearance in the WHL Finals in 2017-2018.
At 37 years of age, Love’s coaching resume also includes Hockey Canada tutelage since 2015. Love has been a member of the coaching staffs for Canada’s U17, U18 and U20 programs including winning a gold medal at the 2020 World Junior Championships followed by a silver medal at the 2021 tournament.
Love played five seasons in the WHL with Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Everett, the team he captained in his final junior season. He turned pro in 2005 and played six seasons between the American Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League and Central Hockey League. In back to back seasons in the AHL, Love was named Man of the Year by his respective teams in Albany (2006-2007) and Lake Erie (2007-2008). This award is presented annually to a player for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations.
With the naming of Love as head coach today, the Heat coaching staff this season will consist of assistant coach Joe Cirella and goaltender coach Thomas Speer. The Heat will finalize the coaching staff with the introduction of another assistant coach in the coming weeks.
The Heat have recently graduated two former head coaches to the Calgary Flames with Ryan Huska completing his third season with the Flames in 2020-2021 while Cail MacLean will begin his first year as assistant coach in Calgary this season.