LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have hired Davis Payne as an assistant coach and have signed him to a multi-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and Head Coach Darryl Sutter announced today.
“Davis was clearly the guy at the top of our list,” said Sutter. “We wanted somebody with NHL head coaching experience, and preferably a younger guy who communicates well with players and fits in well with our staff. We’re excited about having him.”
Payne, 41, most recently was the head coach of the St. Louis Blues. The native of Kamloops, British Columbia, and former NHL forward had a 67-55-15 record with the Blues (.544 winning percentage). Payne made his NHL head coaching debut on January 2, 2010 (vs. Chicago) and he won his first NHL game on January 9, 2010 (at Los Angeles). He was relieved of his coaching duties 13 games into the 2011-12 season (November 6, 2011).
Payne has also served as a head coach in both the American Hockey League and the ECHL. He spent a season and a half coaching the Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis AHL affiliate) and in 2008-09 as a rookie head coach in the AHL he guided the Rivermen to a 43-31-2-4 record and returned Peoria to the postseason for the first time in three years. Payne first joined the Rivermen as an assistant coach in 2007-08.
Before that, Payne experienced seven seasons behind the bench as a head coach in the ECHL. In four seasons as head coach of the Alaska Aces (2003-04 to 2006-07), he had a winning percentage of .691. He led the Aces to 53 regular season wins and the ECHL Kelly Cup Championship in 2005-06. Payne took the Aces to the Conference Finals in three of his four seasons in Alaska and he was named the ECHL Coach of the Year following the 2006-07 campaign.
Payne also served as a head coach of the Pee Dee Pride from 2000-01 to 2002-03. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the ECHL’s Greenville Grrrowl in 2000-01 before being named head coach as a mid-season replacement with Pee Dee later that same season.
A graduate of NCAA Division I Michigan Tech, Payne appeared in 22 NHL games with the Boston Bruins from 1995-97 and played a total of eight professional seasons in the AHL (with Rochester and Providence), International Hockey League (with Phoenix and San Antonio) and ECHL (with Greensboro and Greenville). He was originally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the seventh-round (140th overall) in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.
Payne joins Sutter’s coaching staff which also features John Stevens (Assistant Coach) and Bill Ranford (Goaltending Coach).