CHICAGO (AP) – Trent Yawney was hired Thursday to be the new coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, replacing Brian Sutter who was let go last month.

Yawney, 39, coached the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in Norfolk, Va., the past five years and led the Admirals to five straight playoff appearances.

The Blackhawks were 91-118-37 in three seasons under Sutter and made the playoffs only once, in 2002. Chicago missed the playoffs in six of seven years before the lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 NHL season.

Sutter’s contract was not renewed when general manager Dale Tallon took over the Blackhawks last month.

“Trent is innovative, creative and will bring a fresh approach, this is another step in the right direction,” Tallon said.

As coach of the Admirals, Yawney has worked with some of the players on the Blackhawks’ roster.

“We plan to have a young team, and we feel that Trent fits the Blackhawks like a match made in heaven because he will have coached many of our players for two or three years,” team owner William Wirtz said.

Yawney played 12 years in the NHL, including six seasons as a defenseman for the Blackhawks.

He also was an assistant coach in Chicago for the 1999-2000 season.

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