The St. Louis Blues have fired head coach Ken Hitchcock and replaced him with Mike Yeo, accelerating a plan that was put into motion last summer.
After losing five of their last six games, and having the third-worst record in the NHL since Dec. 8, the Blues decided to make their coaching change now instead of the off-season.
Hitchcock, the Blues' head coach since Nov. 8, 2011, led the team to a 248-124-41 regular-season record, ranking him second on the Blues' all-time regular-season wins list and fourth in NHL history (781).
Yeo, 43, joined the Blues this season after coaching the Minnesota Wild, going 173-132-44 during his time there.
He also spent one season as head coach of the AHL's Houston Aeros, leading the club to the 2011 Calder Cup Final.
Yeo won a Stanley Cup as an assistant coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.
The Blues have also fired goaltender coach Jim Corsi.