It’s official. After 15 seasons working with Barry Trotz in Nashville, Mitch Korn has been hired as the Capitals’ new goaltending coach, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
“I am very pleased to join the Washington Capitals and continue to work alongside Barry Trotz,” Korn said in a statement. “I look forward to working with all of the talented goaltenders in the organization and helping them improve and succeed on the ice."
“I want to thank the Nashville Predators for a great 16 years and wish them the very best in the future.”
Korn’s appointment was delayed while the Capitals tried to find an appropriate role for Olie Kolzig, who sered as the team’s goalie coach last season and expressed a desire to reduce his responsibilities due to family reasons. According to the Caps, Korn and Kolzig are currently discussing Kolzig’s level of time commitment and involvement with the organization.
“I have known Olie for many years and have a great appreciation and respect for the way he views the goaltending position,” Korn said. “We will continue to discuss the best way for him to remain with the organization while doing what’s best for his family.”
Korn, 56, has more than 35 years of coaching experience. Korn worked with all netminders in the Nashville system during his tenure with the team and helped develop several into elite NHL goaltenders. Under Korn’s direction, Pekka Rinne was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2011 and 2012 and finished in the top 10 in Hart Trophy voting in both seasons. Korn also helped develop two-time Czech Olympian, 2010 World Champion and NHL All-Star Tomas Vokoun.
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Before joining the Predators in 1998, Korn spent seven seasons (1991-98) with the Buffalo Sabres organization, where he worked with Hockey Hall of Famer and two-time Hart Trophy-winner Dominik Hasek. While working with Korn, Hasek captured four Vezina Trophies and led the NHL in save percentage five times. Korn also saw Buffalo’s goaltending tandem (Hasek and Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr) capture the NHL’s Jennings Trophy (lowest team goals-against average) during the 1994-95 season. Korn has also developed goalie coaches, with several who have learned under him serving around North America, including five currently at the NHL level.
Korn began his coaching career at Kent State University in 1979 shortly after ending his playing career at the school. He worked at Miami University’s Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, Ohio, for 30 years and coached the school’s goalies until joining the Sabres in 1991. Korn, who runs goaltending and defensemen schools around the country in the off-season, also has contributed regularly to several hockey publications, including USA Hockey Magazine, Goalies’ World and In-Goal Magazine.