Photos: Tori Hartman
When the Capitals hired goaltending guru Mitch Korn in 2014, they did so knowing that it would not be for the long-term. Now, with the 60-year old Korn taking on a different role within the organization, the Capitals promoted Associate Goalie Coach Scott Murray as the new goaltending instructor.
In early July, the Capitals announced that Korn, the team’s goaltending coach the past three seasons, would be taking on a different role with the organization in order to reduce his travel schedule. According to Caps General Manager Brian MacLellan, Korn will now be the Director of Goaltending, a role that will require less travel but still allow him to remain a key part of the development and instructing of the Capitals’ netminders.
According to MacLellan at the announcement of Korn’s new role:
“He’s going to be the Director of Goaltending. He wants to cut back on his schedule. We’re in the process of promoting Scott Murray to the NHL team and Mitch will work with Scott, our Hershey guy, and the East Coast League (ECHL)”.
Prior to joining the Capitals organization, Murray spent four years as the goalie coach of the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), before he was hired by the Capitals in 2013.
Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Murray played as a goaltender himself growing up, and was even a netminder at Lake Superior State University, a Division I school. Following his college career, he made short stops in the Canadien Hockey League (CHL) and United Hockey League (UHL). Murray was hired by the Wolves in 2009 and prior to being hired, had started a goaltending school for children in the Sudbury community, which eventually led to him being chosen to serve as the Wolves’ goalie coach.
After being hired by the Capitals in 2013, Murray served as the Bears’ goalie coach until his promotion this summer. The 39-year old has spent time during the last few offseasons during the Caps’ annual Development Camp and during training camp learning under Korn and working with both the team’s goaltending prospects and professional goalies, including 2016 Vezina Trophy-winning netminder Braden Holtby.
With an understanding of the Capitals’ NHL netminders’ playing styles, and working with one of the best to coach the position in Korn, Murray is well-prepared for his first season at the NHL level, and has already worked with backup Philipp Grubauer in Hershey.
While it will likely take some time for both Holtby and Grubauer to adjust to Murray, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Seeing as how Murray has worked under Korn during the past few summers and during training camp, the transition should be an easy one.
By Michael Fleetwood