Mitch Love, the AHL’s most outstanding coach each of the past two seasons, is joining the Washington Capitals’ coaching staff, the team announced Thursday.
Love, 39, will primarily oversee the team’s defenders, according to a press release. He’s the first outside hire to join Spencer Carbery’s coaching staff, filling one of two vacancies.
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek originally reported the interest on Thursday morning.
In two seasons as the head coach of the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate, Love has a 96-33-9 record. He guided the Calgary Wranglers to a league-high 106 points during the 2022-23 regular season, with the team falling to the eventual Western Conference Champion Coachella Valley Firebirds in the division finals.
While leading the Stockton Heat the season prior, the team finished with 97 points — second-best in the AHL.
From 2012-21, Love coached in the WHL — first as an assistant with the Everett Silvertips, followed by three seasons as the head coach of the Saskatoon Blades.
Love retired from his playing career in 2011 after six pro seasons, making it as high as the AHL.
With assistants Scott Allen (penalty kill) and Scott Murray (goaltending) remaining from Peter Laviolette’s staff, the hiring leaves the Capitals with one more vacant assistant job. The team will need to hire a candidate to oversee the team’s power play, barring any restructuring, with the final opening.