Davis Payne most recently spent time with Los Angeles. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Davis Payne as associate coach

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Davis Payne as the associate coach on new head coach Phil Housley’s staff, the team announced today.

In Payne, Housley, who has never been an NHL head coach, has a top assistant with NHL head coaching experience. Payne led the St. Louis Blues over three seasons from 2009 to 2011.

The 46-year-old most recently served as an assistant with the Los Angeles Kings for five seasons, winning a Stanley Cup in 2014. Prior to that, he served a 137-game stint in charge of the Blues, going 67-55-15.

Payne has also served as head and assistant coach of the Peoria Rivermen, the Blues’ old AHL affiliate, and as an assistant in the ECHL. He played 22 NHL games with the Boston Bruins as a forward over his eight pro seasons.

In addition, the Sabres also officially announced today goalie coach Andrew Allen will return next season. General manager Jason Botterill said Saturday Allen, a hire of former coach Dan Bylsma, would be back.

The Sabres also named former scout Seamus Kotyk goaltending development coach.

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Three of the Sabres’ restricted free agents – defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, center Johan Larsson and goalie Robin Lehner – filed for salary arbitration before today’s player-elected deadline, according to the NHL Players’ Association.

Contract negotiations can continue. If the player reaches arbitration, the Sabres can choose a one- or two-year term because the player filed.

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The Rochester Americans added more depth Tuesday, signing defenseman Andrew MacWilliam to a one-year AHL contract.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound MacWilliam played 12 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014-15, recording two assists.

The 27-year-old spent last season with the Albany Devils, compiling five assists and 100 penalty minutes in 63 games. He has four goals and 36 points in 252 career AHL appearances.

MacWilliam, a seventh-round pick by Toronto in 2008, played four seasons at the University of North Dakota.

The Sabres, Rochester’s parent club, started stocking the Amerks after free agency opened Saturday, signing about five players for them.

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