The Pittsburgh Penguins fired head coach Mike Johnston on Saturday after a slow start this season and just 18 months on the job.
Mike Sullivan, who was head coach of the Boston Bruins from 2003-06 and was serving as the coach of Pittsburgh's affiliate in the American Hockey League, replaces Johnston.
The Penguins also fired assistant Gary Agnew on Saturday morning with the high-profile Penguins, led by former MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, struggling in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division.
Pittsburgh is 15-10-3 this season after a 3-2 shootout loss at home to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night. The Penguins are 28th in scoring.
Johnston, 58, was in his second season coaching the Penguins, with a 58-37-15 record.
"I felt it was time for a coaching change because our team has underachieved," general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement. "Our expectations are much higher with this group of players.
"I want to thank Mike Johnston and Gary Agnew for their contributions to the Penguins. They are good hockey men, and we wish them all the best."
The Penguins slipped into the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, needing a win against the Buffalo Sabres on the final day of the regular season to secure the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins were eliminated by the New York Rangers in a five-game series in the first round.
Sullivan, 47, was in his first season coaching AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where the Penguins are 18-5-0-0 and leading the Atlantic Division. He coached two seasons with the Boston Bruins, winning a division title in 2003-04 and going 70-56-31.
Sullivan has been an assistant coach for the Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. He was a player development coach for the Chicago Blackhawks last season when they won the Stanley Cup.
"Mike Sullivan has been a head coach and an assistant coach in the NHL and we've been very fortunate to have him with our AHL club this season," Rutherford said. "He's done an outstanding job in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and he's ready to step in."
Sullivan played 709 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Bruins and Arizona Coyotes, recording 54 goals and 136 points.