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Blues fire Payne, hire Hitchcock

Nov 6, 2011, 9:26 PM EDT

Davis Payne

The St. Louis Blues have fired head coach Davis Payne and hired Ken Hitchcock as his replacement.

The coaching change can’t be considered a huge surprise as the talented Blues (6-7-0) have underachieved early this season. Payne has been behind the bench in St. Louis since taking over from Andy Murray halfway through the 2009-10 campaign. Payne failed to lead the Blues to the playoffs in either season, though 2010-11 was his only full one in charge.

The hiring of Hitchcock is more of a surprise as he was reportedly close to replacing Scott Arniel in Columbus. The St. Louis job will surely give the veteran coach a better chance to make the playoffs come April. In fact, you have to wonder if he had a choice between the two jobs. You also have to wonder if this is the reason Arniel is still employed after last night’s embarrassing loss in Philadelphia. Feel free to speculate on that.

Hitchcock has coached three NHL teams – Dallas, Philadelphia and Columbus – winning the 1999 Stanley Cup with the Stars. He’s not exactly known as a players’ coach, which might suggest Blues GM Doug Armstrong believes his young team needs a taskmaster in charge.

Hitchcock and Armstrong have a history together; the latter was the assistant general manager with the Stars when they won the Cup.

  1. danphipps01 - Nov 6, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Dear God. He is not the coach for this roster. They ALREADY have problems scoring and their goaltending situation is far from ideal. They’re going to suffer Flames Syndrome here.

  2. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 6, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Dear Santa.

    Please have the Columbus Blue Jackets send their 1st round pick to the Minnesota Wild for either Harding or Backstrom. My Wild would love to have the services of Nail, Forsberg or Grigorenko.


    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 6, 2011 at 10:31 PM

      ahhh, I see I had read the article wrong.. I thought it was the Jackets that hired Hitchcock, not the blues,…. My bad… Well the issue i see with the Blues hiring Hitchcock is that he isn’t well known for developing young talent. It will be interesting seeing how this works out

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