Calgary Flames

Report: Calgary Wranglers Head Coach Mitch Love expected to sign with the Washington Capitals

Once a hopeful for the Calgary Flames’ open head coaching job, Mitch Love has reportedly signed on as an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals.

This comes as part of an onslaught of personnel changes in Calgary, with rumblings around the futures of Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund and more. The loss of Love hits perhaps even harder, given his incredible two seasons in charge of the Flames’ AHL team and the potential he had to be a head coach in this organization.

Mitch Love’s history with the Flames

After coaching the Saskatoon Blades for three seasons, Love was hired to be the head coach of the Stockton Heat. He would go on to lead the Heat to their best postseasion in franchise history, taking them right to the Conference Finals after finishing at the top of the Pacific Division. The team then lost some of their key players this past year, but somehow he did even better in the regular season, finishing at the top of the entire league. And while they did drop in a heartbreaker to Coachella Valley, the team got production from up and down the lineup.

The hope was to see Love on the Flames’ bench, whether that was as the head coach or as an assistant. He clearly is an excellent coach who gets a lot out of his group. While Huska does have more experience and familiarity with the organization—having been an AHL head coach and an NHL assistant coach himself—losing Love is a huge loss to this team’s coaching pipeline. The Flames have always been keen to promote from within, taking Huska and Glen Gulutzan from the AHL affiliate to coach the big club.

Not only does the departure of Love still leave a hole on the Flames’ bench, it also leaves a hole on the Wranglers’ bench, and gives new GM Craig Conroy one more thing to add to his already lengthy to-do list this summer. Regardless, wishing Love all the best in his new role.

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