ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues have fired head coach Ken Hitchcock.
The club, which lost for the fifth time in six games Tuesday night, made the announcement Wednesday morning.
Mike Yeo, an assistant coach who was pegged to take over from Hitchcock after this season, will now take control behind the bench.
Hitchcock had been with the Blues since Nov. 8, 2011, when he replaced Davis Payne.
He led the club to the Western Conference final last season and is ranked second on St. Louis' all-time wins list with a record of 284-124-41 record over six seasons.
The Blues have been a disappointment this season, however, just barely holding onto the final wild-card spot out west entering Wednesday's play (53 points in 50 games).
Known during Hitchcock's tenure as a stingy defensive team, St. Louis has allowed 28 goals in their last six games while their goaltending has been a season-long problem.
The drop-off from last year has been considerable. The Blues not only reached their first western final since 2001 — falling in six games to the San Jose Sharks — but finished with the second-best record in the conference during the regular season, posting 49 wins and 107 points despite a number of injuries to key players.
Yeo gets his second opportunity to lead an NHL club. He coached the Minnesota Wild for five seasons previously, guiding them to three playoff berths before being dismissed after 55 games last year.
The North Bay, Ont., product led the Houston Aeros to the Calder Cup final in his one American Hockey League season, a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins coaching staff for four seasons prior to that.