The Calgary Wranglers are guaranteed at least one representative at the American Hockey League’s All-Star weekend, and it’s behind the bench. By virtue of the Wranglers ending the 2022 calendar year in first place in the Pacific Division, Wranglers head coach Mitch Love will be coaching the division’s entry at the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic at the beginning of February.
Currently in his second season with the Flames’ farm team, Love was named the AHL’s Coach of the Year in 2021-22 for his role in shaping the then-Stockton Heat into a lean, mean hockey machine. The club advanced all the way to the conference final round in the 2022 Calder Cup playoffs, losing in six games to the Chicago Wolves. The Wolves went on to win the Calder Cup, so the Heat’s playoff exit was at the hands of the eventual league champions. (The Heat relocated to Calgary over the summer to become the Wranglers.)
The Wranglers enter 2023 in first place, by points percentage, in the entire AHL.
The AHL All-Star Classic runs Feb. 5-6 in Laval, Quebec, home of the Laval Rocket (Montreal’s AHL club).