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

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Heart of Our City: Bringing back the culture

Through teaching children how to harvest cedar, Fanny Nelson passes on traditional knowledge

Grand opening for Mariners Park playground

More than 100 people came to play and celebrate the playground’s upgrades on June 23

Province assigns new judge to northern B.C.

Judge Linda Thomas brings 18 years of experience to her new post

MVP of the Week: Grassroots passion

Reagan Pomponio has had a love for soccer since she was five

This Week Podcast — Episode 90

For National Indigenous Peoples Day, organizers of Prince Rupert festivities tell us what’s coming up

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Most Read