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Sabres hire ex-Blues bench boss Davis Payne as associate coach

As a first-time head coach, Phil Housley was expected to add experienced assistants. He's started with Davis Payne.

The Sabres hired Payne as their associate coach Wednesday. The 46-year-old spent parts of three seasons as head coach of the St. Louis Blues, posting a 67-55-15 record from 2010 to 2011.

Payne has been an assistant for the Los Angeles Kings for the past five seasons.

The Sabres also formally announced Andrew Allen will return as goaltending coach. Seamus Kotyk, who had been serving as a scout with a focus on goalies, will become goaltending development coach.

In Los Angeles, Payne primarily worked with the forwards. He should be a good complement to Housley, who was the defensive mastermind with Nashville before being hired by Buffalo last month.

Payne helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup in 2014.

He began his head coaching career in 2000-01 in the ECHL, where he led Pee Dee and Alaska to the playoffs in all seven of his seasons. He won a championship with Alaska in 2006.

Payne joined the Blues' organization in 2007-08 as an assistant for Peoria of the American Hockey League, and he took over as head coach the following season.

The Blues named Payne as their interim coach midway through the 2009-10 season, and he kept the job after a 23-15-4 finish. St. Louis went 38-33-11 during his only full season behind the bench. He was dismissed early in 2011-12 after a 6-7 start.

Payne had an eight-year professional career after playing college hockey at Michigan Tech. The forward played 22 games for Boston from 1995 to 1997.

It's possible the Sabres will add more to the Buffalo and Rochester coaching staffs before development camp begins Saturday.

Sabres goalie coach Andrew Allen to return for third season

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