The Colorado Avalanche on Sunday fired coach Joe Sacco after four seasons at the helm, the team said.
The Avs have not hired a replacement.
The Avs made the change after a last-place showing in the NHL's Western Conference, and for missing the playoffs for the third straight year under Sacco's watch. Sacco had a final year left on his contract as coach.
After a rookie coaching year in which he helped guide the Avs to the playoffs in 2009-10 and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year, Sacco's teams finished out of the running the next three seasons.
The former Boston University star and NHL journeyman player faced a lot of injuries to his teams, but this season the team's top players were relatively healthy.
Sacco's four seasons at the helm finished just short of Bob Hartley's tenure as longest as an Avs coach. Hartley was fired soon into his fifth season in 2002-03, after four straight Western finals appearances and one Stanley Cup.