Mitch Korn is in his 15th season as the goaltending coach for the Predators and in his 22nd season in the NHL. He works with all netminders in the Nashville system, including those playing in Milwaukee (AHL), Cincinnati (ECHL), amateur leagues and Europe.
The well-known goaltending coach has helped several Nashville goaltenders burst onto the NHL scene, the most recent being back-to-back Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne. The Kempele, Finland has finished in the Top 10 in Hart Trophy voting each of the last two seasons and over the past four seasons, ranks second among NHL netminders in shutouts (25), fifth in both save percentage (.921) and goals-against average (2.35), and tied for sixth in the NHL in wins (137).
Korn’s success cultivating netminders for the organization dates back to the 1998 Expansion Draft. Two-time Czech Olympian, 2010 World Champion and NHL All-Star Tomas Vokoun developed into one of the NHL’s elite under his watch, while Chris Mason would follow, becoming a legitimate NHL starter after several seasons of working with Korn. In 2007-08, Dan Ellis developed into a No. 1 goalie after playing in just one NHL game prior to joining the Predators, leading the NHL in save percentage (.924) in his first full campaign, before giving way to rookie Rinne in 2008-09. Anders Lindback – a seventh-round selection (207th overall) in the 2008 Entry Draft – spend two seasons under Korn’s tutelage after becoming just the third player to make the Predators out of training camp with no prior North American pro experience, and has now moved on to the Tampa Bay Lightning where he get a chance to become a starting netminder.
Before joining the Predators on July 23, 1998, Korn spent seven seasons in the Buffalo Sabres organization, where he enjoyed great success while working with 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. In addition to goaltenders, Korn has also developed goalie coaches, with several who have learned under him serving around North America, including five currently at the NHL level.
The New York City native has more than 35 years of coaching experience, beginning 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 until his retirement in 2010, coaching 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.