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Former Blues coach Payne won’t say if he’s cheering for St. Louis

Apr 27, 2012, 7:58 PM EDT

Davis Payne

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.

  1. cardsandbluesforever - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Payne is a nice guy, but a TERRIBLE coach. had no buisness trying to coach a minor league team let alone an NHL team.
    i wondered why our team was so deep and still losing games we should’ve been winning. then i found out the answer- someone was interviewing TJ Oshie a while back and asked him what he liked about coach Payne. his answer was ” he lets us play OUR game” a coach’s job is to get the team to play the coach’s system, play the COACHE’S game. thats when i knew he had to go. that combined with partying with the team after wins was a big no-no.
    i hope it really tears him apart inside to see the exact same players he coached do so much better under a REAL coach. have fun getting coffee for Armstrong, thats about as close as you’re ever gonna get to running a team again.

  2. eggserino - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I’m not a Payne apologist but I don’t agree with you, cardsandbluesforever. Payne is a young coach who is still learning the coaching ropes. He is not a bad Xs and Os guy. He understands the game well. The best thing about this team and their management is that they could’ve kicked Payne to the curb. Instead, if they manage to get a Cup this year, Payne gets a ring and probably a share as a part of the team.

    To your point, it was probably a bad combination of young players and young coach. The veterans on the team at the time that Payne took over were not particularly good leaders (Tkachuk, Brewer, Kariya, Boyes) and Payne probably didn’t assert himself enough… Tough place to be as a new coach. As well, it wasn’t like the talent was ready for a big run. Those teams weren’t built for success… They were built to provide opportunity to young kids. Payne was a teacher first and a disciplinarian second. Remember, he followed Andy Murray, who had Perron in the dog house more than he had him on the ice.

  3. barcthespark - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Payne is still employed by the St. Louis Blues. He damn well better be rooting for them.

    • eggserino - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:02 PM

      This story seems like it’s written by someone who is writing a story to try and stir the pot.

  4. blomfeld - Apr 28, 2012 at 12:22 AM


    I’m not exactly sure what I’m reading here ? The commenters above apparently purport to be Blues fans, yet they’re stabbing one of their own in the back ? I personally have no quarrel with the Blues or their fans, despite the fact that they’re now our next antagonist. But reading this commentary does cause one to wonder ?. Who are these people and what exactly are they all about ? Are they just a nice & talented team from the Central division ? … or are they a mean-spirited and venomous bunch of back-stabbers ? I guess we’ll find out pretty soon, as we’ll engage with them in battle tomorrow.

    At any rate rate, we LA Kings are primed and ready ! We’re coming off the heels of a glorious victory, by dispatching the very “best” which the NHL has to offer in just a “laughable” 5 games ! … and our confidence has never been higher ! So serpents or not, these Blues had better be ready, because “we’s a com’n fur ya !”

    GO KINGS GO ! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

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