Capitals Announce Changes to Goaltending Department

The Washington Capitals have named Mitch Korn the team’s director of goaltending and promoted Scott Murray to goaltending coach, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. 

Korn will ultimately have less involvement in day-to-day activities and training and practice sessions with the goaltenders, something that began wind down last season. In fact, Korn did not participate in the team photo last season.

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.

More on Murray here.

Korn, who spent the past three seasons as the Capitals goaltending coach, will oversee all goaltenders and goaltending coaches in the organization. His primary responsibilities will be to continue running the goaltending department without the coaching component.

Entering his 27th season in the NHL, Korn has coached goaltenders to five Vezina Trophies (Dominik Hasek: 1993-94, 1994-95, 1996-97, 1997-98; Braden Holtby: 2015-16) and eight Vezina Trophy nominations. He is the only coach in NHL history to coach a goaltender to a Vezina Trophy with two different teams (Buffalo, Washington).

During the 2016-17 season, Capitals goaltenders allowed the fewest goals in an 82-game season in franchise history and captured the William M. Jennings Trophy for the second time in Washington history (1983-84). Washington goaltenders led the NHL in goals-against average (2.14) and shutouts (12) in 2016-17 and ranked tied for first in save percentage (.922).  In the 2015-16 season, Korn helped Holtby tie Martin Brodeur’s NHL single-season wins record (48) and capture his first career Vezina Trophy. In addition, Holtby posted a 22-game point streak from Nov. 12 to Jan. 14 (20-0-2), marking the second-longest point streak by a goaltender in franchise history and only the second point streak of 22 or more games in the NHL in the last 20 seasons. Holtby has earned 40 wins in each of his two seasons under Korn (2014-15: 41, 2015-16: 48), becoming the 13th goaltender in NHL history to post multiple 40-win seasons.

Prior to joining the Capitals, Korn spent the previous 16 seasons as the goaltending coach for the Nashville Predators and has more than 35 years of coaching experience. Korn, who runs goaltending and defensemen schools around the country in the offseason, also has contributed regularly to several hockey publications, including USA Hockey Magazine, Goalies’ World and In-Goal Magazine.

Murray is entering his first season as the Capitals’ goaltending coach after spending the past four seasons with the Hershey Bears. Murray will work with Washington’s goaltenders and coaching staff this season and will report directly to Korn.

This past season, Murray worked with Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley. Under Murray’s guidance, Vanecek recorded a career-high of 18 wins and finished second in the AHL in shutouts (5), while Copley won 11 of his 16 games with Hershey and finished eighth in the AHL in save percentage (.924). Murray has also previously coached Philipp Grubuaer, who posted a career-best .926 save percentage and 2.04 goals against average with the Capitals.

Murray joined the Capitals organization in 2013 after spending four seasons as the goaltending coach for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League. Murray, 39, played hockey collegiately at Lake Superior State University. The St. Clements, Ontario, native also played for the San Angelo Saints (Central Hockey League) and Motor City Mechanics (United Hockey League) during his professional career.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Capitals Announce Changes to Goaltending Department

  1. Pingback: Washington Capitals Evening News Links – Thursday, 9/14/2017 | NoVa Caps

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Caps have a great record in drafting/trading goalies… so draft one each year… then train them for the playoffs

  3. Glad to see Korn will still be involved within the organization.

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