The Blues' search for an assistant coach will begin following Wednesday's announcement that Scott Mellanby won't return for the 2012-13 season.

Mellanby, who was an assistant under head coaches Davis Payne and Ken Hitchcock the past two seasons and also played four seasons with the Blues, is moving on to "explore other career opportunities."

"I would like to thank the Blues' organization for giving me the opportunity to coach in the National Hockey League," Mellanby said in a statement. "After two years of coaching I realize my passion is in the hockey operations department which I would like to pursue. I have enjoyed my time here as a player and as a coach and wish nothing but the best for the Blues and their fans."

Mellanby, 45, is a candidate for a front-office job in Montreal, where former Blue Marc Bergevin was recently hired as general manager, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

Following a 21-year NHL career, which included playing 2000-04 with the Blues, Mellanby was brought back to the organization as an assistant coach in 2010. He had never coached in the NHL, working as a professional scout for Vancouver after retiring.

Over the past two seasons, Mellanby has worked specifically with the Blues' power play and the club's forwards. Under Mellanby's watch, David Backes became a Selke Award finalist, one of the league's three best defensive forwards, this season.

"We thank Scott for his hard work and dedication in our organization over the past two seasons," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. "He is a true professional and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."

Mellanby's departure leaves one vacancy on the Blues' coaching staff.

Meanwhile, the contracts of three Blues assistant coaches — Brad Shaw, Ray Bennett and video coach Scott Masters — are set to expire in June. Goaltending coach Corey Hirsch has two seasons remaining on his contract.