Three weeks after the New York Islanders added Lane Lambert to the coaching staff, another familiar face will be back working with Barry Trotz.
Mitch Korn, the goatending coach who’s worked with Trotz in both of his previous NHL stops in Nashville and Washington, has been hired as Director of Goaltending to improve an area that’s hindered the Islanders over the last few seasons.
After joining the Washington Capitals in 2014, Korn moved into the same role before last season, citing the need to cut back his work schedule.
“My job is to take what you do best, and have you continue to do it best. And what you may not do well, I’ll help you either fix it or hide it,” he told Yahoo Sports in 2014.
Korn and new goalie coach Piero Greco will have some work to do with Thomas Greiss, Robin Lehner and Christopher Gibson as the options in net for now. The Islanders allowed the second-most goals (190) at even strength in 2017-18 and had a team even-strength save percentage of .917, per Natural Stat Trick.
Over the years Korn has worked with a number of goaltenders who have received Vezina Trophy praise, including Braden Holtby, Pekka Rinne and Dominik Hasek. While the Islanders’ current crop of ‘tenders may not be in Vegas next June awaiting to hear their name for the Vezina Trophy, there’s a safe bet to be had that there will be at least some improvement in that department with the new faces in charge.
Greco’s hiring meant that former goalie coach Fred Brathwaite has moved on. With Luke Richardson joining Claude Julien’s staff in Montreal, Kelly Buchberger taking over head coaching duties with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans and the dismissals of assistants Greg Cronin and Matt Bertani, that leaves leaves assistant Scott Gomez as the only holdover on staff from last season.