ST. LOUIS (AP) – The St. Louis Blues, last in the NHL standings again despite a change in ownership and several player upgrades, fired coach Mike Kitchen on Monday night and replaced him with former Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray.

Blues president John Davidson told The Associated Press that Murray received a longterm contract after negotiations in New York on Sunday.

“We realize we’re a team that’s got a long way to go,” Davidson said. “We just felt we needed to take a step like this to move forward.”

The Blues are 7-17-4 with 18 points and have lost seven in a row. Davidson said Murray will be on the bench Tuesday night at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

St. Louis hasn’t won since earning consecutive shootout victories at Columbus and Detroit on Nov. 22-24. The Blues have one point during their slide.

AP-ES-12-11-06 2237EST


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