Robbie Ftorek was fired Wednesday as coach of the Boston Bruins, a team struggling to make the playoffs after a strong start.
General Manager Mike O'Connell took over for Ftorek on an interim basis.
Ftorek was in his second season as Boston's coach. The team also fired assistant Jim Hughes but retained assistant Wayne Cashman. Mike Sullivan, coach of the Bruins' AHL affiliate at Providence, R.I., was promoted to assistant in Boston, and Scott Gordon was appointed Providence coach.
"This change is being made at this time because of this team's record over our past 46 games and the fact that, fairly or unfairly, the coach is judged on the record," O'Connell said.
Ftorek led the Bruins to first place in the Eastern Conference last season with a 43-24-6-9 record. But they were eliminated by Montreal in the first round of the playoffs.
Former NHL star John Vanbiesbrouck was suspended indefinitely from a junior hockey league for using a racial slur March 7 to describe a black player on his team.
The Ontario Hockey League also fined Vanbiesbrouck's team, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, $50,000.
Vanbiesbrouck, who has apologized for his slur of Trevor Daley, previously resigned as coach and general manager of the team and said he planned to sell his 25% ownership stake.
Vanbiesbrouck may apply after five years for reinstatement, the OHL said.