CHICAGO (AP) _ Bob Pulford became general manager and head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, replacing Lorne Molleken behind and bench and Bob Murray in the GM's office.

Pulford was the Blackhawks' general manager for 20 years before turning the job over to Murray in 1997. Murray had been Pulford's assistant and player personnel manager.

Molleken was demoted to associate coach.

The Blackhawks are 5-15-2, in last place in the NHL's Central Division, and missed the playoffs for two straight seasons.

Pulford led the team to the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of his 20 seasons as general manager. He resigned in 1997 after a tumultuous season that saw the departure of fan favorites Jeremy Roenick and Ed Belfour and an early exit from the playoffs. Since resigning as GM, Pulford has served as the Blackhawks' senior vice president.

Murray spent his entire 15-year playing career with the Blackhawks.

Pulford played in 1,079 NHL games, most of them with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was hired as general manager and coach of the Blackhawks in 1977, after coaching the Los Angeles Kings for five seasons.