The St. Louis Blues have fired coach Ken Hitchcock.
Assistant and coach-in-waiting Mike Yeo replaced him. Yeo was supposed to succeed Hitchcock after this season, the veteran coach's final season in St. Louis.
General manager Doug Armstrong announced the change Wednesday morning. The Blues are 24-21-5 and in eighth place in the Western Conference.
Despite being in a playoff spot, St. Louis has lost five of six and went 5-8 in January. The Blues lost at home to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The 65-year-old Hitchcock was in his sixth season as Blues coach. They made the playoffs in each of his five seasons and reached the Western Conference final last spring.
Hitchcock has coached 20 NHL seasons and won the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999.