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Payne Remains Blues' Head Coach

by Staff Writer / St. Louis Blues
Davis Payne (left) and Doug Armstrong, the team's incoming general manager, pose for a photo at Wednesday's press conference that announced Payne as the team's permanent head coach. (Photo by Mark Buckner).

  Press Conference: Video | Audio
  More: Complete Davis Payne Bio
ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced Wednesday that the club has officially named Davis Payne as Head Coach. Payne became the 23rd coach in the history of the St. Louis Blues when he was named Interim Head Coach on January 2, 2010.

“Davis did an outstanding job for us and earned the opportunity to be a permanent head coach in the National Hockey League for our club,” said Davidson.

Payne, 39, currently the youngest coach in the NHL, helped guide the Blues to a 23-15-4 (.595%) record which included a 12-5-2 (.737%) home record. The club won 15 of the final 23 games of the regular season and also posted victories in the last six games at home.

Prior to joining the Blues, Payne was the Head Coach of the Blues’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate Peoria Rivermen for two seasons after serving one year as an assistant with the club. He posted a 62-44-3-6 (.578%) overall mark in two seasons with Peoria. In his first year (2008-09) as an AHL Head Coach, Payne guided the Rivermen to a 43-31-2-4 record and returned Peoria to the postseason following a two-year drought.

Prior to joining the Rivermen before the 2007-08 campaign, Payne had spent a total of seven seasons as a Head Coach in the ECHL. The Kamloops, British Columbia native established a .691% winning percentage over four years as Head Coach for the Alaska Aces, the Blues’ ECHL affiliate.

The 2006-07 ECHL Coach of the Year, Payne led the Aces to the 2006 ECHL Kelly Cup Championship and also guided the club to three consecutive trips to the Conference Finals; it was the first time in 15 years and only the second time in ECHL history that a team advanced to the ECHL’s Final Four in three straight seasons. Thirty-eight of Alaska’s 48 lifetime playoff wins had came under Payne’s direction, with his winning percentage in the playoffs (38-21, .644%) nearly matching that of his four regular seasons in Alaska.

Payne, who owns a 289-142-45 (.654%) in seven seasons as an ECHL head coach between Alaska and the Pee Dee Pride, remains second all-time in ECHL history with 50 postseason victories, 12 of which came during his three years with Pee Dee.

A graduate of NCAA Division I Michigan Tech, Payne appeared in 22 NHL games with the Boston Bruins and played a total of eight professional seasons.

He was originally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the seventh round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

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