Flames' prized AHL coach Mitch Love getting interest from other NHL teams: report

May 19 2023, 8:45 pm

If the Calgary Flames want Mitch Love to be their next head coach, they might have to act fast before someone else snaps him up.

The 34-year-old Love, who got into coaching in 2012 following a six-year pro hockey career as a player, has had great success with the Flames’ affiliate, the Calgary Wranglers (formerly the Stockton Heat) over the past two seasons.

Love has been named the AHL’s coach of the year in back-to-back seasons, compiling a combined 96-33-11 record. It has been an incredible run and one that other NHL teams around the league are reportedly keeping tabs on.

According to NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes, Love is receiving plenty of interest around the league, presumably for a head coaching role.

With the Flames’ head coaching spot currently vacant after the firing of Darryl Sutter, there has been speculation that Love is in the running for the position.

That said, there are several other coaches with NHL experience awaiting a new job, including names such as Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette, and Andrew Brunette. On top of that, the Flames have another in-house candidate in assistant coach Ryan Huska, who is believed to be in consideration as well.

Regardless of who ends up getting the job, the next head coach of the Flames will have his work cut out for him. After finishing with a Pacific Division-best 111 points just a season ago, the Flames regressed in a big way in 2022-23. Though they remained in the race right until the end, their 93 points were two shy of the Winnipeg Jets for a wild card position.

What the new coach of the Flames will need to do is figure out a way to get better results out of some of the team’s newer faces. Both Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri failed to live up to expectations, and are in search of bouncebacks next season.

If they are able to get back to the level of play they proved they are capable of in years prior, this Flames team could very well find their way back into the playoff picture next season.

Colton PankiwColton Pankiw

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