The Saskatoon Blades are hopeful their fans will “Love” who their new head coach is and that the W-H-L team’s on-ice performance is something they can’t “Mitch” about!
The Bridge City Bunch announced the hiring of Mitch Love as Dean Brockman’s replacement as head coach Wednesday. The soon-to-be 34-year-old product of Quesnel, B.C. signed a four-year deal with the Blue and Gold with a club option on a fifth season. A former hard-nosed, five-year W-H-L defenceman with Moose Jaw and Swift Current, as well as an original member of the Silvertips, Love comes to the Blades after the last seven seasons as an assistant coach with Everett. They captured the Western Conference title this past season.
“I can’t thank the Priestner family, the Blades organization and management enough for this opportunity to be a head coach in the Western Hockey League,” said Love, who’s father Harley is a B.C.-based scout for Saskatoon and was in attendance at the announcement. “As an ex-player to a long-time assistant coach in this league…I eat, breathe and live the Western Hockey League.”
Love becomes the 21st head coach in Blades’ history. He will try and direct the Blue and Gold back into the post-season for the first time since 2013.
We’re putting a big investment into him because we believe in him,” stated Blades G.M. Colin Priestner, who added he has no problem giving Love a long-term contract. “Our goal is to have numerous banners (in the SaskTel Centre rafters) by the time he’s done and on to the pro game…and I think that’s what he’s here for, too.”
Ryan Keller is being retained as one assistant coach while a second assistant will be hired shortly.