Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blues hire Corsi as goalie coach

Veteran spent past 16 seasons in same capacity with Buffalo Sabres

ST. LOUIS -- Instead of bringing back the former Buffalo Sabres goalie the Blues paid a hefty price to trade for, the Blues are instead moving forward with the guy who was Ryan Miller's former coach.

The Blues elected to allow Miller to walk when the free agency period begins July 1, but on Tuesday, they elected to hire Jim Corsi, former goaltending coach of the Sabres the past 16 seasons, as their new goalie coach. Corsi, 59, replaces Corey Hirsch, who the Blues elected not to rehire.
Jim Corsi

Corsi, who worked with Miller the past 11 seasons in Buffalo, was let go by the Sabres following the 2013-14 season.

Under his guidance, Corsi worked with not only Miller but Dominik Hasek as well, among others. Hasek (1999 and 2001) and Miller (2010) won three Vezina Trophies while working with Corsi.

Corsi's signing would have been a no-brainer to signal that the team would also pursue resigning Miller, but the Blues last week chose to part ways with Miller and brought back Brian Elliott with a three-year, $7.5 million contract to team up with Jake Allen moving forward.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said after announcing the signing of Elliott that there was no immediate urgency to bring in a goalie coach. They brought on Kirk Muller, former head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes who played for Ken Hitchcock in Dallas, as an assistant coach. Muller replaced Gary Agnew, who also was not brought back.

"... Certainly (would) like to have everything coaching-wise wrapped up by the draft," Armstrong said regarding a goalie coach at the time. "But getting Muller signed was the No. 1 priority. There's not the rush for the goalie coach ... there doesn't seem to be that many teams that are in the same position as we are right now. 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."

Overall, Corsi brings with him over 20 years of hockey experience, including time as a player, coach, manager and analyst. Previously, he has worked with both the Italian Men's and Canadian Women's National Teams, as well as with junior (OHL's St. Michael’s Majors), collegiate (Ottawa University, McGill University, Concordia University) and professional European programs (Schwenningen HC, German League).

Corsi also developed the 'Corsi Rating,' which is an individual stat figured by calculating the number of shots directed toward the offensive goal versus the number of shots directed toward the defensive goal while in five-on-five situations (excludes empty net shots).

During his playing career, Corsi appeared in 89 professional games in North America, including stints with the Edmonton Oilers and the World Hockey Association's Quebec Nordiques. Corsi also played internationally in Europe, Russia and China from 1980-92. In international tournaments, Corsi represented Italy several times, including eight World Ice Hockey Championships (1981-83, 1985-87, 1989-90) and the 1984 Winter Olympics.

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