Capitals add Mitch Love as assistant coach to work with defense

Mitch Love, Washington Capitals (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)
Mitch Love, Washington Capitals (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals are almost done filling out their coaching staff roster for the first season of the Spencer Carbery era. On Thursday morning they named Mitch Love as an assistant coach who will work primarily with the Capitals’ defensemen.

Love joins assistant coach Scott Allen and goaltending coach Scott Murray. Now they just need one more assistant coach to help with the power play.

The 39 year old joins Washington after spending the previous two seasons as head coach of the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate, the Calgary Wranglers (2022-23) and Stockton Heat (2021-22).

In 2022 23 Love guided Calgary to an AHL best 51-17-3-1. He received the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the second straight season. That’s pretty impressive considering he did so for two different teams.

Love became just the third coach in AHL history to win back to back Pieri Awards and the first to do so in his first two seasons in the league.

Under Love last season, Calgary ranked first in the AHL in goals against per game at 2.42 and penalty kill percentage at 85.1 percent and fourth in goals per game at 3.56.

In 2021 22, Stockton ranked third in the AHL in goals against per game at 2.72 and finished with the league’s second best record. In two seasons as head coach, Love compiled a record of 96-33-8-3 and won two Pacific Division titles.

Prior to joining the Flames organization, Love was the head coach of the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2018-21 where he posted a record of 95-4-12-4 over three seasons.

The Quesnel, British Columbia native also served as an assistant coach with the Everett Silvertips or the WHL for seven seasons from 2011-18.

Internationally, Love was an assistant coach on Canada’s gold medal winning team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and served in the same role at the 2021 tournament, earning a silver medal while coaching Capitals and Hershey Bears forward Connor McMichael at both tournaments.

Love also played professionally for six season which included five years in the AHL where he recorded 27 points with six goals and 21 assists and 808 penalty minutes in 278 career games.

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Overall this is a good hire. Even though he played forward in his days, he was known as an enforcer which makes him perfect for the Caps defense.