Brian Sutter, coach of the year in the NHL last season, was fired by the St. Louis Blues Friday, three days after the team was eliminated during the first round of the playoffs.
Sutter, 35, was replaced by Bob Plager, 49, a team vice president and director of player development. Plager, who signed a two-year contract, was a defenseman with the Blues for 11 seasons and played in the team's first game 25 years ago.
The Blues also made Bob Berry and Ted Hampson assistant general managers. Berry was an assistant under Sutter for four years and Hampson has been director of scouting since 1983-84.
Sutter is the winningest coach in team history with a record of 153-124-73. He coached the Blues longer than anyone else, but wasn't able to take the team past the second round of the playoffs.
The oldest of six brothers who played in the NHL, Sutter succeeded Jacques Martin in 1988. He had been with the team for 16 years as a player and coach, and Blue fans voted him the top left wing in team history this season.