Winnipeg Jets hire Davis Payne, Dean Chynoweth to round out coaching staff

Winnipeg Jets head coach Scott Arniel speaks to media, May 27, 2024. Global News

The Winnipeg Jets have announced the hiring of a pair of experienced assistant coaches in Davis Payne and Dean Chynoweth to round out their staff for the 2024-25 season.

The hirings come exactly three weeks following the promotion of Scott Arniel from associate to head coach, and confirmation from GM Kevin Cheveldayoff of a mutual parting of ways with former assistant coach Brad Lauer.

At that same news conference, Cheveldayoff also announced Marty Johnson and Wade Flaherty would be remaining on staff.

“After a thorough interview process, I feel we’ve found two great individuals to help push our team forward,” Arniel said in a team news release. “Both Dean and Davis bring with them a great deal of enthusiasm as well as a tremendous amount of team success and experience on the development side of coaching, having worked with veteran and young players alike.”

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Arniel also pointed out that each of the new hires brings a portfolio of Top 10 success on special teams, and that had to be a key consideration for the Jets, who finished in the bottom third of the NHL in each category this past season.

Chynoweth, 55, was an assistant to Sheldon Keefe the past three years in Toronto, while 53-year-old Payne spent the past five seasons on the coaching staff of the Ottawa Senators.

Before his time with the Maple Leafs, Chynoweth also served as an assistant coach with the NY Islanders (2010-12) and Carolina Hurricanes (2018-21). The two-time Memorial Cup champ with Medicine Hat (1987, 1988) and first-round pick of the NY Islanders (13th overall, 1987) also has extensive head coaching experience at both the Western (Seattle, Swift Current) and American (Lake Erie, San Antonio) Hockey League levels.

Payne has previous NHL head coaching experience with St. Louis. He went 67-55-15 as the bench boss of the Blues from midway through the 2009-10 season to early in the 2011-12 campaign. The former Edmonton Oilers draft pick (seventh round, 140th overall in 1989) spent the following five seasons (2012-17) as an assistant with the Los Angeles Kings, where he was part of the 2014 Stanley Cup champions.  Payne then served as an associate coach under Phil Housley in Buffalo from 2017-19 before joining Ottawa.

Payne will run the forwards and be placed in charge of improving a Jets power play that ranked 22nd last season. Chynoweth will handle the defense and be tasked with bettering a penalty-killing unit that finished 21st overall in the league in 2023-24.


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