ST. LOUIS (AP) -Davis Payne is now the head coach of the St. Louis Blues.
Payne had been the Blues' interim coach since Jan. 2, when he replaced Andy Murray. The announcement of his hiring was made Wednesday.
The 39-year-old Payne becomes the NHL's youngest coach. He led the Blues to a 23-15-4 record after taking over for Murray, including a 12-5-2 home record after the team had the league's worst home mark for much of 2009-10 season.
Payne was previously the coach of the Blues' American Hockey League affiliate in Peoria, Ill., for two seasons.
He appeared in 22 games as an NHL player with the Boston Bruins and played eight pro seasons after being chosen by Edmonton in the seventh round of the 1989 draft.