Photo credit:Candice Ward/Calgary Wranglers
Calgary Wranglers head coach Mitch Love: ‘Do I want to coach in the National Hockey League? Absolutely”
By Ryan Pike9 months ago
The Calgary Flames have a coaching vacancy at the National Hockey League level. In the American Hockey League, the Calgary Wranglers were just eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs. On Monday, Wranglers head coach Mitch Love joined Pat Steinberg on Sportsnet 960 The Fan’s Flames Talk to discuss the end of his club’s playoff run.
(And as you imagine, the Flames’ coaching vacancy came up.)
Through two seasons with the Stockton Heat (2021-22) and Wranglers (2022-23) in the AHL, Love’s clubs posted a combined 96-33-11 record. They earned back-to-back Pacific Division regular season crowns (and back-to-back first round playoff byes) and won a combined three playoff rounds. For his efforts in guiding his clubs through a strong season, a relocation to Canada and turnover of a good chunk of the roster, and another strong season, Love was named the AHL’s coach of the year in each of his first two AHL seasons.
As you might imagine, Love’s developing some buzz for jobs around the NHL. Asked by Steinberg about the potential coaching opportunity in Calgary, here’s what Love said:
“…I’m proud to be working for this organization. It’s given me a lot of opportunity to grow as a hockey coach and make the next advancements in my career as a coach in this great game we have. I think I told you probably three or four weeks ago when we had this conversation: Do I want to coach in the National Hockey League? Absolutely. Do I understand there’s an opportunity here potentially with everything going on? Yeah. Have I had conversations with the organization about it? Not yet. Hopefully soon enough. Do I feel like I can coach in the NHL and be productive and help a team win? Yeah, I do. That’s just me being honest with you. But again, there’s going to be a lot of quality candidates around and there’s good coaches out there. We’ll see what shakes out here over time.”
Steinberg noted that Love seems to be building a good reputation. Love had an interesting reply:
“I am who I am in terms of a coach and a person, and I don’t pay a lot of attention to that stuff. I just really enjoy coaching hockey. I always told myself, I wasn’t a very good hockey player and I came up short making the National Hockey League as a youngster. But I always kind of said to myself when I got into coaching, going through junior and ending up here, that I wanted to coach in the NHL and I wanted to get to the NHL whether as a player or a coach because I love the game so much and I love helping people get to where they want to get to or maximizing their talents. But at the end of the day, I just want to coach and I like coaching. And so if it’s here with the Calgary Flames and I can be a part of the organization for a long time, that’s what I want to do. We’ll see what shakes out here over time.”
We’ll have more on the Flames coaching search as it unfolds.
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