Predators Hire Mitch Korn as Director of Goaltending

Mitch Korn
Photo by Predators

Nashville, Tenn. (May 29, 2024) – Nashville Predators General Manager Barry Trotz announced today that the team has hired Mitch Korn as Director of Goaltending. In this new role, Korn will oversee the organization’s entire goaltending department, including Goaltending Coach Ben Vanderklok, Goaltending Development Coach Jason Barron and European Development Coach and Scout Pekka Rinne; work directly and remotely with the team’s goaltenders and prospects in Nashville, Milwaukee and overseas; and be involved in the scouting of professional and amateur goaltenders.

“I’ve known and worked with Mitch for a long time, and we are happy to be welcoming back one of the great goaltending minds in the game of hockey,” Trotz said. “Mitch’s resume speaks for itself. He has an uncanny ability to communicate the language of goaltending to his players in a way that helps them easily understand how he is trying to make them better. With Mitch at the helm of an already impressive goaltending department that includes Ben, Jason and Pekka, I’m confident that our franchise’s longtime success at the position will continue to grow.”

Korn, who worked for Trotz in Nashville for 16 seasons as the team’s first-ever goaltending coach, completed his 33rd career campaign in the NHL as either a coach or director in 2023-24 with the New York Islanders. During his illustrious NHL coaching career with Buffalo (1991-98), Nashville (1998-14), Washington (2014-18) and the Islanders (2018-24), goaltenders under Korn’s tutelage have established themselves among the League’s best.

“I am incredibly excited to return to Nashville and the Predators organization,” Korn said. “I last worked here 10 years ago, so I am looking forward to re-connecting with all the people who are still part of the Predators family, and to meeting and working with all those who have come on board since. I’m most excited to again be working with Ben Vanderklok, who I hired as my assistant in 2009. He has done an amazing job during his time with the Predators, and we’ve maintained a strong friendship and working relationship in this industry. Along with Barry, Ben was instrumental in having me return to the place where my family and I made so many memories.”

Those playing for Korn have won five Vezina Trophies, three William M. Jennings Trophies and two Hart Trophies. Goaltenders during his career have also been named to the first or second year-end All-Star and All-Rookie Teams nine times.

The New York, N.Y., native returns to the Predators after spending the previous six seasons as director of goaltending for the Islanders, four of which came with Trotz as his head coach. During his tenure in New York, Islanders netminders led the NHL in shutouts (45) and ranked tied for third in goals-against per game (2.68). The Islanders’ goaltending duo of Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss won the Jennings Trophy in 2019 with Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov finishing second in 2021; Sorokin also finished second in Vezina Trophy voting in 2023 while Lehner came in third in 2019.

Before his time on Long Island, Korn also worked with Trotz, this time in Washington, where the two won the 2018 Stanley Cup. While serving as director of goaltending (2017-18) and head goaltending coach (2014-17), he worked closely with Braden Holtby, who had the best statistical seasons of his NHL career under Korn, winning the 2016 Vezina Trophy and 2017 Jennings Trophy while leading the NHL in wins both seasons.

The bulk of Korn’s NHL coaching career came during his 16-season stint in Nashville, working with several of the best goaltenders in franchise history, including Rinne, Tomas Vokoun, Mike Dunham and Chris Mason. Under Korn, Rinne separated himself as one of the greatest goaltenders of his generation, twice finishing as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2011 and 2012. Dunham and Vokoun turned into NHL starting goaltenders with Korn as the team’s goalie coach, with both ending their Predators careers with more than 100 wins.

Korn began his NHL career as Buffalo’s goaltending coach from 1991-98, with Hockey Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek as his No. 1 for six seasons. Hasek enjoyed four of the best statistical seasons of his legendary career under Korn, winning the Vezina Trophy four times (1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998) and the Hart Trophy twice (1997 and 1998); he remains the only goaltender in NHL history to win the League’s MVP award multiple times.

Prior to his time in the NHL, Korn coached at his alma mater Kent State University from 1979-80; in 1981 he began a 30-year career as an administrator at Miami University, where he also served as a goalie coach and assistant coach for the school’s hockey team. Korn additionally runs successful goalie camps during the summer months for the hockey community in Tennessee, Minnesota, Ohio, Connecticut, New York and Virginia.

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