Blues complete staff with hiring of goalie coach Jim Corsi

Jim Corsi comes to the Blues after 16 seasons as the goaltending coach for the Sabres.

Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

ST. LOUIS — The Blues have named Jim Corsi as their goaltending coach, filling the last remaining spot on the coaching staff, the team announced Tuesday morning.

Corsi, who spent the past 16 seasons as the goaltending coach for the Buffalo Sabres, follows the announcement two weeks ago that Kirk Muller would be joining the Blues’ coaching staff as an assistant.

Corsi and Muller join assistants Brad Shaw and Ray Bennett under coach Ken Hitchcock. The two new assistants take over the positions opened by the dismissals of Gary Agnew and Corey Hirsch. Hirsch had coached the Blues’ goaltenders for four seasons.

Corsi, 59, comes to St. Louis with more than 20 years of experience in hockey, including one season as a goalie in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979-80. His time in Buffalo included working with Vezina Trophy winners Dominik Hasek (1998-99, 2001) and Ryan Miller (2009-10).

The Sabres finished last in the NHL with 52 points this past season and then shook up their coaching staff. Corsi was one of four assistants let go, though two of them were reassigned within the organization.

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Buffalo used six goalies in 2013-14, including Miller, whom the Blues obtained from Buffalo at midseason. The Sabres struggled on defense yet posted a .914 save percentage as a team, which ranked 11th in the NHL.

The Blues were 13th with a .913 save percentage with Jaroslav Halak, Brian Elliott and Miller. Miller posted an .897 save percentage in the Blues’ six-game, first-round playoff series against the Blackhawks. A free agent, he will not be back with St. Louis next season.

The Blues announced last week that unrestricted free agent Brian Elliott had re-signed with the club on a three-year deal worth $7.5 million. Elliott, who went 18-6-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 2013-14, will be paired with top prospect Jake Allen next season.

Both Elliott and Allen, the American Hockey League’s goaltender of the year, will have a fresh start working with Corsi, who is also well known throughout the hockey community for his work with advanced statistics.

He developed the "Corsi rating," which calculates the number of shot attempts — goals, shots on net, shots that miss the net and shots that are blocked — by a team or a player as compared with opponents’ shot attempts.

The Blues ranked seventh in the NHL in Corsi rating in five-on-five situations at 53.1 percent this season, according to the website ExtraSkater.com. St. Louis trailed the Kings (57.3), Blackhawks, Bruins, Devils, Sharks and Rangers.

Corsi will be asked to take Elliott to another level while also working to develop Allen, who appeared in 15 games in the 2012-13 season but did not play at the NHL level this past season.

The Blues are now banking on Elliott and Allen to take them deeper into the playoffs than they have been the past three seasons, when they’ve won only one out of their four playoff series.

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter (@natelatsch) or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com