It’s official. Tuesday afternoon, the Washington Capitals announced the hiring of Mitch Korn as the team’s new goaltending coach. Korn, who has been Nashville’s goaltending coach since 1998, has coached Pekka Rinne to consecutive Vezina Trophy nominations in 2011 and 2012. Before joining the Predators, Korn spent seven seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, where Dominik Hasek won four Vezina Trophies and two Hart Trophies. That’s a pretty good resume.
Caps great Olie Kolzig will remain in the organization in a unspecified role. The Capitals announced that Kolzig was not fired, but “expressed his desire to not continue as a full-time goaltending coach due to family reasons.”
From the Caps PR:
The Washington Capitals have named Mitch Korn the team’s goaltending coach, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Following the season Olie Kolzig expressed his desire to not continue as a full-time goaltending coach due to family reasons. Korn and Kolzig are currently discussing Kolzig’s level of time commitment and involvement with the organization.
“I am very pleased to join the Washington Capitals and continue to work alongside Barry Trotz,” said Korn. “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.
“I have known Olie for many years and have a great appreciation and respect for the way he views the goaltending position. 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, spent the past 15 seasons as the goaltending coach for the Nashville Predators and 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.
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 whom 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.