Davis Payne out, Ken Hitchcock in as head coach of the Blues
Bet ya didn’t see that coming. Could I ask for an easier start to my time here at Rant Sports? If the Blues can keep feeding me big stories like this, it should be easy work.
Now, down to business. Davis Payne, as you now know has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the St. Louis Blues and they have hired Ken Hitchcock to take over. My first thought was I don’t like this move. Now that I have had more time to think about it, I am kinda 50-50 about it. It seems like Doug Armstrong wants to rebuild his 1999 Stanley Cup Championship with Jamie Langenbrunner and now Ken Hitchcock calling the shots.
Something obviously needed to be done to light a fire under the asses of these players. The players looked down right bored in Minnesota on Saturday. Davis Payne, as the head coach, unfortunately gets the short end of the stick and gets punished for everyone else’s mistakes and inabilities. Am I saying he was perfect? Absolutely not, but I do think he was still the right guy to lead this team to the promise land. In the end I could stick the blame on assistants Ray Bennett and Brad Shaw. Why weren’t they the first to go?
Bennett and Shaw weren’t even Davis Payne’s assistants. These guys have been around since the Andy Murray era. They run the special teams, which we can all agree on is probably the number one problem thus far. They never seemed like they had the same philosophies as Payne and their style of play didn’t match up well. This is one thing about sports that I’ve never liked; players and other coaches don’t perform like they are expected and the head honcho gets the boot. I know it’s business and Payne understands that but he can’t be happy right about now. Davis just never showed any compassion on the bench. He stood there emotionless no matter the score. He did not have the fire that Ken Hitchcock seems to have behind the bench.
Hitchcock has been without a job since being fired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010. At almost 60 years old he is going to be a coach that comes in and doesn’t take any crap from the young guys (looking at you Oshie). Hopefully he can come in and make an immediate impact on this 5 game home-stand starting off Tuesday night against former Blues coach Joel Quinneville and the Blackhawks. I still miss Coach Q but hopefully we can take it to him and his squad and get 2 big points against our division rivals.
Hitchcock has an all time record of 534-350-88-70 in his NHL coaching career. He’s coached the Stars, Flyers, and Blue Jackets with his best season in 1998-99 when he won the Cup with the Stars with a record of 51-19-12. Hitch knows what it takes to win and has a big opportunity to right the ship in St. Louis with a contract through the 2012-13 season.
Welcome Ken, and good luck to Davis Payne, he has a bright future ahead of him in the NHL and he won’t be unemployed for long.
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