Cincinnati Cyclones Head Coach Jason Payne Gets a Role in Tonight's ECHL All-Star Classic

Monday's game also features Cyclones president Ray Harris's ECHL Hall of Fame induction.

click to enlarge Jason Payne, head coach for the Cincinnati Cyclones. - PHOTO: TONY BAILEY, CINCINNATI CYCLONES
Photo: Tony Bailey, Cincinnati Cyclones
Jason Payne, head coach for the Cincinnati Cyclones.

The Queen City will be represented well during this year's ECHL All-Star Classic.

Cincinnati Cyclones head coach Jason Payne will serve as an assistant coach for the mid-season game tonight, a Jan. 17 release from the Cyclones says. Payne replaces Eric Wellwood of the Newfoundland Growlers, whom the ECHL says could not attend due to travel issues.

"It's definitely an exciting opportunity to be a part of an event like this," Payne says in a release. "I remember my first year with the Cyclones and being with Matt (Thomas) in Toledo for the All-Star Classic. It's a fun time, and it's humbling to be named to coach the top players from across our league."
Payne had served as an assistant coach during the 2019 ECHL All-Star Classic. Joining him Monday for the game will be Cyclones defenseman Wyatt Ege, who was named to the all-star roster last week.

Payne was named as the Cyclones' head coach in August after serving as the team's assistant coach, becoming the only head coach of color in professional hockey today.

As part of today's all-star festivities, Cyclones president Ray Harris is being inducted into this year's ECHL Hall of Fame class alongside former players Brett Marietti and Joel Martin plus on-ice official Tim Nowak. Harris, who has run the Cyclones for nearly 20 years, is the first member of Cincinnati's organization to land in the Hall of Fame.
The ECHL All-Star Classic will air at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, on the NHL Network. The game, which will be played in VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, will feature the Jacksonville Icemen against players from other teams within the league.

The ECHL has 27 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces.

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