Friday, June 18, 2010

Hirsch named Blues goaltending coach

Team also resigns forward D'Agostini

ST. LOUIS -- On Thursday, the Blues anointed a new goaltender to lead them into the future. Friday, they brought in the coach they hope can lend a helping hand.

Former NHL goalie Corey Hirsch was named the Blues' new goaltending coach. The team also signed restricted free agent forward Matt D'Agostini to a reported one-year, $550,000 contract.

Hirsch, 37, is a former goalie that played seven seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Vancouver, Washington and Dallas. He compiled a 4-45-14 record with a 3.13 GAA and .896 save percentage.

Hirsch, rumored for some time to be a candidate for the job, will join his new team on July 1 after completing his obligations as a coach in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. He has been with the Maple Leafs since the 2008-09 season. He replaces Tyler Love, who was not brought back after a brief stint last season when he replaced Rick Wamsley.

Hirsch will work with the Blues' goaltenders in St. Louis and at their AHL affiliate in Peoria. He'll also work with the team's goaltending prospects.

"Corey has tremendous knowledge and experience of the goaltending position," Blues President John Davidson said in a statement. "He has a lot to bring to the organization and all of our goaltenders will benefit having Corey on board."

Hirsch was a member of the NHL all-rookie team in 1996 with Vancouver, when he was 17-14-6. After retiring, he was named as the goaltending consultant for Hockey Canada and was part of their National Junior Team when they won the Gold Medal in 2007 and 2008.

D'Agostini, 23, was acquired by the Blues from Montreal in a trade on March 3 that sent prospect Aaron Palushaj to the Canadiens. D'Agostini would have been a restricted free agent on July 1.

He played seven games with the Blues a season ago and gets an increase of 10 percent over his 2009-10 salary.

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