Los Angeles Kings head coach Marc Crawford was fired Tuesday following two losing seasons.
Crawford, 47, had one year remaining on his contract with Los Angeles.
"There is not just one thing that goes into this decision," Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. "You throw it all in and it comes down to your gut."
Crawford posted a 59-84-21 record in two seasons with Los Angeles.
But the Kings (32-43-7) hit rock bottom this season, tying the Tampa Bay Lightning (31-42-9) for the fewest points in the NHL with 71.
"It is fair to say we did not expect the team to be out of the playoffs in January," Lombardi said. "I don't think we were kidding ourselves into thinking we were world beaters [because] we set realistic expectations.
"Certainly, that enters the equation when you're evaluating the coaching staff and the players. But the most important thing for me was going forward.
"There is no doubt we're committed to the way we are going. After my meeting with ownership this week, it is more evident than ever that they're committed to building a young core, for lack of a better term, the old-fashioned way."
Crawford was hired by the Kings on May 22, 2006, replacing John Torchetti, who spent two months as interim head coach following the dismissal of Andy Murray.
Won Stanley Cup in 1996
Crawford previously coached the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, capturing the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 1995 and the Stanley Cup in 1996.
Crawford later joined the Vancouver Canucks, setting a franchise mark with 246 wins over seven seasons before being relieved of his duties on April 25, 2006.
He is 470-385-132 in 987 NHL games behind the bench.
"Marc's record speaks for itself, in terms of his winning record," Lombardi said. "But I guess it just comes down to a matter of fit."
Los Angeles is in no rush to name a replacement for Crawford.
"We're going to take our time, go through a process and, hopefully, get the right guy," Lombardi said. "I'm going to try to keep this small.
"We're going to be methodical, we're not going to rush into anything. This is a critical hire."
"I want to talk to [Kings associate coach] Mike Johnston about the possibility of being considered for this role and see where he is at, mentally," Lombardi continued. "We will see where that is once he has had some time to reflect … I think he is pretty well respected within the industry."With files from the Associated Press