Blues show Kitchen out, bring in Murray

For the third time this season, a Central Division team has decided to make a change behind the bench.

Stuck in last place in the league thanks to a seven-game losing streak, the St. Louis Blues on Monday night finally showed Mike Kitchen the door, replacing him with for Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray.

Kitchen had just 38 wins in 121 games since he took over for the fired Joel Quenneville -- now with the Colorado Avalanche -- in January 2004.

A recent meltdown by Kitchen didn't have quite the same impact as the tirade Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green had earlier this season, but probably sealed his fate anyway.

According to The Associated Press, Kitchen expressed frustration with the state of the team after ceremonies to retire Brett Hull's No. 16 jersey resulted in a 5-1 home loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 5.

"How can you not get ready for tonight's game?" Kitchen said that night. "You just look around. You've got a full building, there's a lot of electricity in the air, and they're not ready to play? Come on!"

Other Central Division coaches to be fired are Gerard Gallant by Columbus and Trent Yawney by the Chicago Blackhawks. Ken Hitchcock, axed by the Philadelphia Flyers, was hired by the Blue Jackets.

Murray, the Kings' career leader with 215 wins, inherits a team that has scored the fewest goals in the league, and hasn't had a victory in regulation since beating the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 12, going 2-9-1 since with both wins coming on the road via the shootout.

Murray makes his Blues coaching debut on Tuesday against the Blackhawks.

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