Mitch Love speaking at his first press conference since becoming head coach of the Saskatoon Blades. Stephen Hiscock photo

B.C. man lands head coaching job with Saskatoon Blades

Mitch Love spent the last seven seasons as assistant coach for Everett Silvertips

Harley Love says he used to take his son, Mitch, to a lot of Prince George Cougar games when growing up.

At one of them, Harley says Mitch turned to him and said, “Dad, this is where I want to play, the WHL [Western Hockey League].”

A young Mitch realized that dream at the age of 15 when the Quesnel local got called up to play for the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The dream blossomed from there, with Mitch enjoying stints with the Swift Current Broncos and the Everett Silvertips.

After a six-season playing career in the American Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League, he came back to the WHL as an assistant coach with the Silvertips, where he’s been for the last seven years.

But last Wednesday, Mitch Love took another step forward as he was named the head coach of the Saskatoon Blades.

He still holds the city in which he grew up dear.

“My fondest memories of Quesnel were my Tim Hortons runs with my father before the early 6 a.m. game or practice,” he says.

“The old arena in Quesnel was quite the gem too.

“There was so much history in that building and there was some real cold mornings getting in there and playing Prince George or Williams Lake.”

Harley was a goaltender in town when his son was still young, and Mitch can remember being very involved with the hockey culture here.

“It was a huge influence in my life,” he says.

“Just being around the rink when he was playing with the Kangaroos and being around the Gassoffs and the Marshs and all the families that make up Quesnel hockey.”

His dad played an important role too, Mitch adds.

“He always demanded hard work out of me and those are still things I instill in the players I coach and even my daughter, who is five.”

Harley points out that Mitch had the wherewithal to go far from a young age.

“He always wanted to be better,” Harley says.

“Mitch was never afraid to put the time in off the ice too.

“When going to hockey camps he would train hard before he went.

“He would run, he would sprint, he would pull tires, he would do whatever it takes to get to the next level.”

Mitch grew up in Johnston Subdivision and Harley recalls a rink right beside their house that Mitch would frequent.

“He put countless hours on that ice – shooting pucks and skating.

“Not a lot of kids could do a slap shot, but he put in a lot of time and he called me over and said, ‘Dad, dad, look at this!’ and he could really shoot the puck.”

Both father and son work for the Blades now, as Harley is their Okanagan regional scout.

Asked how he enjoys the idea of working with his son, Harley says, “It’s perfect, you bet!”

Just Posted

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

This summer Masset RCMP will give positive tickets to youths

More than a dozen community partners are involved in encouraging good behaviour once school is out

New Seven Sisters replacement confirmed

Mental health facility will have 25 beds, up from 20 in current facility

Terrace hospital’s business plan approved

Health Minister’s announcement opens door to construction phase

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Court to rule on B.C.’s pipeline permit law in crucial case for Trans Mountain

A panel of B.C. Court of Appeal judges has been mulling B.C.’s constitutional reference cas

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Nisga’a Nation tourism industry hits the road

First pilot tour to the Nass Valley is set for this summer with Indigenous Tourism BC

Most Read