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Blues fire Payne, hire Hitchcock

The St. Louis Blues have changed coaches after a disappointing 6-7 start, firing Davis Payne and hiring Ken Hitchcock to a contract through next season.

The 40-year-old Payne was the second-youngest coach in the NHL but got only one full season with St. Louis after being hired in January 2010.

The 59-year-old Hitchcock is 534-350-88-70, winning a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999-2000 and also coaching at Philadelphia and Columbus.

The team called a news conference for Monday morning and Hitchcock will be on the bench for practice that afternoon.