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!”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New Salt Boutique the realization of a vision for owner Caroline Marko

Marko combines the rough and the soft in a minimalist, clean airy space

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read