Monday, February 23, 2009

Renney: "We have a short shelf life..."

(Tom Renney from the Rangers website)

They say coaches are hired to be fired. Unfortunately that old expression caught up to former Trail Smoke Eaters coach Tom Renney today as the New York Rangers handed him his walking papers. Renney went 164-121-42 and guided them back to the playoffs for three straight years after New York had missed the post season dance for seven years. How quickly they forget, eh?

Coaches so often get the blame when things go sour, but is Renney really at fault here? The Rangers lost the likes of Jagr and Shanahan this summer and instead added players like Naslund and Redden who are in no way capable of replacing those hall of famers. They gave massive contracts to Scott Gomez and Chris Drury that neither of them are capable of living up to. Even with those limited horses Renney has the Rangers in a playoff spot. They're 2-5-3 in their last 10 games, but are we so quick to be reactionary and not look at the big picture?

Renney was aware of the nature of his job when I spoke to him last summer on Mountain FM's Overtime. It's a sad reality all coaches face. We don't have to look any further than here in the BCHL to see it play out. For example, check out Hammer's Bulldogs Blog for coverage of the latest BCHL coaching change. Bryant Perrier is out after one year in charge in Port Alberni. Did the team have a good season? Absolutely not, but when you get named GM mid-way through the year I would say it's pretty hard to judge what you can do in that position. Perrier never really got the chance to recruit his own team. I'm not in Port Alberni and rarely see the 'dogs so I can't judge the situation too much. That being said, you always hate to see anyone losing their job. I hope the next coach there can give those fans the success they deserve.

As for Renney, I know he'll get another chance if he wants it. He's a great coach and a class act who always gives his time to come back and help raise funds for the Smoke Eaters and other worthy causes in the Trail area. He doesn't forget where he comes from and he deserves all the success he's had. Hopefully there's a Stanley Cup in his future.

This is what Renney had to say about the Rangers and coaching last summer...

Tom Renney on Mountain FM's Overtime in June 2008

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