BUFFALO, NY - 2007: Jim Corsi of the Buffalo Sabres poses for his 2007 NHL headshot at photo day in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Getty Images) By Getty Images
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 06: Brian Elliott #1 of the St. Louis Blues makes a save against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on April 6, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) By Jonathan Daniel
St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott keeps an eye on the puck shot by the Buffalo Sabres in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 3, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
(HockeySTL ) -- One month before the NHL draft, the Blues have polished off their coaching staff, hiring Jim Corsi as their new goaltending coach.
Corsi, 59, spent the last 16 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, coaching two Vezina Trophy winners in Dominik Hasek and Ryan Miller. At one point, hiring Corsi made sense for the Blues in the event that they would re-sign Miller, but last week they chose to go a different route, re-upping Brian Elliott and letting Miller walk.
It was believed that after the Blues chose not to re-sign Miller that Nashville goaltending coach Mitch Korn would top the Blues’ list. Korn has spent the last 15 seasons with the Predators, but is still under contract with the club and cannot talk to other teams until his contract expires.
General Manager Doug Armstrong said last week that he was in no hurry to fill the final position on the coaching staff, but that he would like to have a full staff in-place by the draft. Perhaps Armstrong was willing to wait out Korn, whose contract expires this summer.
“There doesn’t seem to be that many teams that are in the same position as we are right now," said Armstrong. "We’re working through it on a day-to-day basis, we’re talking to people, we’re interviewing people, but we’re not in any rush to do something."
There is also a strong possibility that Korn follows long-time Nashville coach Barry Trotz to Washington. Trotz was hired by the Capitals on Monday and he and Korn are very close from their time together with the Predators.
Considering all of the tangibles involved, the Blues thought it best to hire Corsi, who was also likely very high on the Blues’ candidate list, as he has invaluable experience in the league.
Corsi played in 89 NHL games during his career, but has 20 years of combined experience as a manager, coach, player, and analyst. Corsi will fill the void left by Corey Hirsch, who the Blues announced would not be extended at the end of last season.
The Blues’ new goaltending coach is also a stat guru, which fits well with the Blues’ coaching staff, which has turned more to advanced stats over the past few seasons under head coach Ken Hitchcock.
Corsi developed the “Corsi Rating,” which is an individual stat that is figured by calculating the number of shots directed toward the opponents' goal versus the number of shots directed toward your team's goal while in five-on-five situations. It is a stat commonly used around the NHL.
Corsi’s attention to statistics and the minute details is what attracted the Blues to him. The club hopes that Elliott and Jake Allen will benefit from having Corsi’s veteran voice and leadership that he displayed in Buffalo. Elliott and Allen have only worked with Hirsch during their tenures with the NHL club.