Payne named Blues' interim head coach

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- St. Louis Blues President John Davidson said Saturday Davis Payne will be the NHL team's interim head coach, replacing fired Coach Andy Murray.

Davidson confirmed in a release he had picked Payne, who was head coach of the AHL's Peoria Rivermen, calling him "very knowledgeable of the players in our organization" and "the best candidate to coach our team."


"He has nine winning seasons at the minor league level which includes an ECHL Championship in 2006," Davidson said.

With Payne at the team's coach, the Rivermen posted a 19-13-1-2 record last season and Payne enjoyed a .691 percent winning percentage while coaching the Alaska Aces of the ECHL for four years.

Davidson also spoke about Murray, who was dismissed after the Blues were swept out of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs by the Vancouver Canucks and are off to a 17-17-6 record this season.

"I would like to thank Andy Murray for the job he has done here the past four seasons," the team president said. "He was an integral part in turning the St. Louis Blues around. He is a true professional and I wish him the best of luck in the future."


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