Tag: Davis Payne

Davis Payne

Former Blues coach Davis Payne to join Kings’ staff


Former Blues coach Davis Payne wasn’t without a job for too long.

Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider reports the Los Angeles Kings are set to name Payne as the team’s new assistant coach. Payne will replace Jamie Kompon who took a job with the Blackhawks.

At 42 years-old, Payne has the experience of being an NHL head coach after leading the Blues for two and a half seasons as well as being a former head coach in the ECHL and AHL. Now he joins the defending Stanley Cup champions alongside Darryl Sutter and will likely work with the team on their power play.

Former Blues coach Payne won’t say if he’s cheering for St. Louis

Davis Payne

The St. Louis Blues relieved then head coach Davis Payne just 13 games into the season and replaced him with Ken Hitchcock. The team was just 6-7 under Payne, but they have excelled under Hitchcock.

“With the group we had, we knew there were great things we could accomplish,” said Payne. “I’m not surprised by it.”

Payne doesn’t think the team has fundamentally changed since Hitchcock took over. He also added that he “can’t have regrets about any decisions I made.”

Payne is still employed by the Blues and does advanced scouting for them. So is he still a St. Louis fan?

“I wouldn’t comment either way on cheering for them,” said Payne. “I’d like to see the team do well.”

It’s probably be bittersweet to see the team do so well after getting the boot, but Hitchcock also deserves a fair amount of credit for the Blues’ success. As things stand, Hitchcock looks like a prime contender for the Jack Adams Award, which is given to the league’s top coach. The nominees for the award will be announced on Monday.

Andy McDonald removed from IR, will play tonight

Andy McDonald
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After yesterday’s rumors that Andy McDonald would be back to action today it shows that rumors can come true.

The Blues have taken McDonald off of IR and will have him in the lineup tonight as the Blues take on the San Jose Sharks. McDonald has played in just three games this season since being knocked out of action with a concussion.

Since the last time McDonald played, the Blues have changed coaches going from Davis Payne to Ken Hitchcock and find themselves in the thick of the race for the top spot in the Western Conference. McDonald brings a bit of speed, offensive skill, and ability to win faceoffs back to the Blues lineup.

With Matt D’Agostini and Jason Arnott on IR and Alex Steen still out, the Blues can use the offensive pick-me-up.

Will 2011-12 break record for most coaches fired in a season?

Scott Arniel

Coaches — they’re hired to be fired.

That’s the old adage, anyway, but it’s holding true as the NHL reaches the midpoint of its season. Seven coaches have been turfed already, two shy of the record first set in 1981-82, then matched in 2000-01.

Coaches relieved of their duties this season were Davis Payne (St. Louis), Bruce Boudreau (Washington), Paul Maurice (Carolina), Randy Carlyle (Anaheim), Terry Murray (Los Angeles), Jacques Martin (Montreal) and, most recently, Scott Arniel (Columbus). That’s seven coaches fired during the first-half of the regular season, a pretty staggering number.

But oddly enough, this season is shaping up a bit like the coaching massacre of 2000-01. That year, only two of the nine coaches dismissed managed to make it through all 82 games — Florida’s Terry Murray and Chicago’s Alpo Suhonen were canned shortly after missing the playoffs — meaning seven faced the guillotine during the regular season.

Pat Burns was fired by Boston after eight games, Montreal canned Alain Vigneault after 20, Craig Ramsay got 28 games in Philly before he bit the bullet and Craig Hartsburg coached 33 before Anaheim let him go. Steve Ludzik got to game No. 39 before Tampa gave him his walking papers and two coaches — Butch Goring (Islanders) and Don Hay (Flames) made it to games 65 and 68, respectively.

So…what are the chances of this year’s coaching death count getting to nine?

Slim, but not nil. The argument could be made that Islanders coach Jack Capuano is on thin ice, but he’s barely had a full year on the job. Same goes for Randy Cunneyworth who, barring an epic collapse, will get to finish the season in Montreal. The Flames could part ways with Brent Sutter if they fall out of the playoff picture (it’d be their third straight missed postseason) and so could the Leafs with Ron Wilson, especially if they fall short of the playoffs.

The wildcard in all of this is timing. Teams that did the business early in the season were able to hire coaches of their choosing — St. Louis got Ken Hitchcock, Carolina got Kirk Muller, Washington got Dale Hunter, Anaheim got Bruce Boudreau and LA got Darryl Sutter — while the teams that waited too long ended up with second choices. No offense to Cunneyworth in Montreal or Todd Richards in Columbus, but both seem like stopgap solutions (at best.)

Teams looking to make a change now might just wait until the season’s over, so they can conduct a more thorough search and have all potential candidates available.

Terry Murray’s situation in L.A. seems awfully familiar


With the speculation looming that Kings coach Terry Murray could soon be out of a job, looking at what’s going on in L.A. seems very familiar.

A team loaded with superstars that looks sapped of their will to compete and struggle mightily at putting the puck in the net. Wait, are we talking about Terry Murray with the Kings or what Bruce Boudreau had to deal with in Washington? Or Davis Payne in St. Louis? What about Randy Carlyle in Anaheim? The situations are curiously similar and in Murray’s case, it’s one where the competitiveness in the West has a hand in speeding things up.

While the Kings are in a division that’s playing poorly all around, falling back into a tie with Calgary for 11th in the conference is about as big of a sign that things are wrong that a team expected to compete for the Stanley Cup needs to see that something is very wrong. Whether you’re critical of Murray’s “defense at all costs” ways or you think the Kings’ offensive weapons just aren’t trying hard enough, the truth is it’s a situation where a new voice is needed there.

Murray’s gotten the Kings to where they play as strong as any team defensively and Jonathan Quick is as good as it gets in goal, but they’ve lost their way in other facets of the game and the moves Murray makes to try and spark the offense just aren’t working. When the team stops listening and responding, that’s a sign that things have to change. It’s happened in Washington, St. Louis, and Anaheim for the same reasons and now it should be L.A.’s time as well.