Arizona Coyotes Add Elkin, Schwab to Staff
The Arizona Coyotes have filled their vacant goaltender coach position by adding Jon Elkin and Corey Schwab to their staff.
Elkin will be in charge of day-to-day duties, including work on the ice with Mike Smith and the newly-acquired Anders Lindback. Schwab’s focus will be in a managerial and developmental role with the club.
The position was open due to the departure of former goaltender coach Sean Burke, who has not found a new club, and is still on the market for teams that are looking to add a coach.
Schwab has held a similar role for the past eight years with the San Jose Sharks organization, working with the recently retired Wayne Thomas. The Sharks have significantly shaken up their goaltender coaching staff as well, letting Johan Hedberg take over.
Elkin is the owner of Jon Elkin’s Goalie Schools, and was the Calgary Flames goalie coach for three seasons. He has also coached for teams in the AHL, WHL, QMJHL and OHL.
Schwab and Elkin will have their hands full with Mike Smith, whose contract still has four years left on it, and actually increases to $6.5M this upcoming season.
Smith had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2014-2015, posting a 14-42-5 record, with a .904 save percentage and 3.16 goals-against-average. His goals-saved-above-average was also a dreadful -20.13, meaning he cost the Coyotes over 20 more goals against compared to a league average goaltender.
The tandem will also try to figure out what to do with Anders Lindback, who is joining his fifth new team (and fifth new coaching staff) in five seasons. Both Lindback and Smith were in the bottom nine in the league in high-danger save percentage last season amongst goaltenders playing in 20 or more games (via war-on-ice).
The team’s goaltending is as uncertain as their arena situation, and the new job with the rebuilding Coyotes will be an interesting challenge for both Schwab and Elkin.
Elkin wrote about building a reactive mindset here on InGoal Magazine back in February. He talked about his philosophy on when to be reactive, and when to go for maximum coverage. You can read that article here.