So, scratch all of the names I explored a little while back. The Wings went off the board and made an excellent hire in Tom Renney. Mike Babcock’s newest assistant (actually dubbed “associate coach” by the Detroit Red Wings) has signed a three-year deal to join the Wings bench.
He was the Oilers’ coach the last two seasons (his contract was not renewed) and has been behind the Rangers and Canucks benches during his career. In nine (chunks of) seasons, Renney’s head coaching record is 260-255-68-9 (back when ties were cool, yo) and has three appearances in the post-season — all with the Rangers.
In Vancouver, he was fired and replaced by Mike Keenan 19 games into the 1997-98 season. A few years away from the bench, he returned in Madison Square Garden as director of player personnel before becoming their coach in 2003 when Glen Sather preferred to play GM instead of coach. Once again, he was fired (and replaced by John Tortorella) in 2009.
In Edmonton, he did what he could with a weak team. They improved by 12 points from his first season to his second, but it still wasn’t enough to garner a third from the organization who has been rebuilding for a decade. He also coached the 1994 Canadian Olympic team that earned silver — as well as a variety of roles within Hockey Canada for World Championships.
He’ll step in to replace Jeff Blashill and run the power play. Very exciting news indeed.
UPDATED: The official press release via the Detroit Red Wings
RED WINGS NAME TOM RENNEY ASSOCIATE COACH
… Veteran Brings Over 15 Years of Coaching Experience to Detroit’s Staff …
Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the club has hired Tom Renney as associate coach. Renney fills the vacancy created when former Assistant Coach Jeff Blashill accepted the head coaching position with Detroit’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Renney has agreed to a three-year deal with the club. As per team policy, additional terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Renney, 57, spent the past three seasons with the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers. He joined the Oilers’ staff as an associate coach prior to the 2009-10 season. After just one season, Renney took over the reigns as the 10th head coach in franchise history on June 22, 2010. In his first campaign as head coach, the Cranbrook, B.C., native led the rebuilding Oilers to a 25-45-12 record. In total, Renney compiled a 57-85-22 record over two seasons as the bench boss of the young Edmonton squad.
Prior to his time in Edmonton, Renney spent nine seasons in various roles with the New York Rangers. During his first two seasons in Manhattan, Renney served as Director of Player Personnel where he oversaw the team’s amateur scouts and provided assistance to New York’s professional scouting department. Renney was promoted to Vice President, Player Development in 2002 and joined the Rangers’ coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2003. After a brief stint as interim head coach at the end of the 2003-04 season, Renney was officially named the 33rd head coach in Rangers history on July 6, 2004. He led the Blueshirts to three consecutive 40-win seasons and guided the team to a 164-121-42 record over 327 games from 2005-08.
Renney first broke into the NHL as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks in 1996-97. He spent parts of two seasons with the Canucks, compiling a 39-53-9 record over 101 games. Renney made the move to Vancouver following his two-year tenure with Hockey Canada, serving as the head coach of the Canadian National Team that went on to capture a silver medal at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Renney began his coaching career behind the bench of the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League in 1990. In two seasons with Kamloops, he led the Blazers to a 101-37-6 record, back-to-back WHL titles and a Memorial Cup championship in 1992.
Photo Credit: Neil Miller, NY Post