NHL

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Next winter will serve as a curtain call for the head coach of the St. Louis Blues.

Ken Hitchcock has agreed to another one-year contract with the National Hockey League team and he says it will be his final year as a coach.

“I want one-year deals because it allows me to do the things I need to do,” Hitchcock told reporters gathered Tuesday at Scottrade Center for the Blues' end-of-season news conference.

“But I'm telling you right now, this is my last one-year deal. I'm not coaching after this year. This is it.”

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 11:10 p.m. to correct name and title of team general manager in caption.

The St. Louis Blues have fired head coach Davis Payne, and hired Ken Hitchcock to take his place.

Payne earned a 67-55-15 record with the Blues, but missed the playoffs in both 2010 and 2011. He was the coach of the team's minor league affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, before being named the interim head coach of the Blues on January 2, 2010. The team removed the interim title on April 4, 2010.