The vacant assistant coaching position in Los Angeles is now filled as the Kings have hired Davis Payne to join head coach Darryl Sutter next season and assistant John Stevens, who will be returning behind the Kings bench in 2012-13.


Payne’s last job in the NHL was as head coach of the St. Louis Blues before being fired 13 games into last season and replaced by Ken Hitchcock who went on to win the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s top coach.


There has been an opening in Los Angeles for a new assistant coach ever since Jamie Kompon left to join the Chicago Blackhawks shortly after the Kings’ Stanley Cup victory. While many fans were displeased with Kompon’s work in Los Angeles, there’s hope that the 41-year-old Payne, who brings a combination of youth and head coaching experience, can help the Kings have a more productive regular season this coming year and, of course, help them to repeat as champions.


I’m not fully aware of Davis Payne’s ability to produce on the power play but after witnessing the aforementioned Kompon’s work, the man-advantage issue can only get better.


Amidst all the celebrating, the Los Angeles Kings continue to build for next season and with their new assistant in place, they are all but fully prepared for the coming season.


Before taking over in St. Louis during the 2009-10 season, Payne was the head coach of the Blues’ AHL affiliate in Peoria and a head coach for seven years in the East Coast League. Payne also played for many years, shifting time between the ECHL, AHL, IHL and briefly in the NHL.




Photo: Courtesy of AP Photo