Love named new head coach of Stockton Heat

Photo: Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

The Calgary Flames have named Mitch Love as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.

Love, 37, joins the Flames organization from his most recent post with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, where he had 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 (.665).

Prior to joining Saskatoon, the native of Quesnel, B.C., was an assistant coach with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips for seven seasons, in which the team made the playoffs each year and reached the league finals in 2017-18.

Love has also been a member of the coaching staffs for Hockey Canada’s U17, U18 and U20 programs, winning a gold medal at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and a silver medal at the 2021 tournament.

Love played six seasons of professional hockey, including 278 games with the Lowell Lock Monsters, Albany River Rats, Lake Erie Monsters, Houston Aeros and Peoria Rivermen. He was his team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year Award in 2007 (Albany) and 2008 (Lake Erie) for his contributions to the local community and charitable organizations.

Love takes over for Cail MacLean, who was named an assistant coach with Calgary last month. Love’s staff in Stockton will include assistant coach Joe Cirella and goaltending coach Thomas Speer. Another assistant coach will be added at a later date.