Perhaps no person epitomizes the Everett Silvertips franchise more than Mitch Love. He was the gritty alternate captain on the inaugural squad that reached the WHL final, served as captain the following year and later returned as an assistant coach for seven seasons.
Love’s name had been tossed around as a potential head coach for WHL teams, and it seemed it was only a matter of time before someone snapped him up.
Head Coach Mitch Love spoke with the media in Saskatoon for the first time today.
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) May 30, 2018
Love flew to Edmonton Monday night to meet with Blades ownership and spent Tuesday golfing and finalizing the deal. Love’s “whirlwind 48 hours” culminated in Wednesday’s announcement.
“I felt real comfortable after a couple of days with them, and coming to terms with leaving Everett and becoming the new head coach here,” Love said.
Love is much beloved in Everett, and the feeling is mutual. During his professional career he returned to Mill Creek in the offseason and stayed involved in the youth hockey community.
— james stucky (@jamesstucky) May 31, 2018
From a personal standpoint, Love was terrific to work with and always willing to chat – both on and off record. He was an excellent second source for flushing out details for stories, and his passion and work ethic are admirable.
— Ian Furness (@IanFurnessSea) May 31, 2018
News is official on @mlovehockey, one of the greatest people I've ever worked with in my career. He's an expert communicator, organized, dedicated.
Always a pro in the booth for our postgame show, win or lose.
Wishing you the best w/ @BladesHockey pal.
— Mike Benton (@Benton_Mike) May 30, 2018
After the Tips chose not to retain Kevin Constantine following the 2016-17 season, Love signed an extension to remain as Dennis Williams’ assistant while adding the title of “assistant to the general manager” to his duties.
“I think continuity is very important, and he brought lots of continuity to the situation from the year before,” Everett general manager Garry Davidson said. “I think (Love and Williams) got on the same page very quickly and pulled together all year long. Our success this year was due obviously to the work of our players and obviously the work of our coaching staff.”
Davidson said it will likely be a week or two before the Tips hire an assistant coach. There is a possibility the team could hire more than one coach and potentially bring the number of coaches back to three. Love and Brennan Sonne both assisted Constantine from 2014-17.
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