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.
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.
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.