Judging by the response to my previous post there’s obviously been plenty of debate about the job Tom Renney is doing, particularly in his allocation of ice time for prospects. Much of the criticism has been fair—among the coach’s faults is he’s probably too loyal for his own good. But I also think a lot of it has been over-the-top.
That said, it’s important to know Renney isn’t thrilled with how he’s handling his ice time, either.
“I’m really disappointed with myself that my fourth-line doesn’t get six to eight minutes a night,” the coach told me. “But there’s an ebb and flow to a game and from a gut feeling, you go with it. The problem is you can’t really explain it to people. But at the same time, it doesn’t really make it right, especially when you’re trying to invest in the future. That’s the paradox.”
That paradox has proven to be far more prominent this year than last, when the Rangers faced none of the expectations they’re contending with now. And that leads us to the next part: Renney also admitted to me he can never get too comfortable in his job. That’s not to say it’s in jeopardy. But those of you who refer to Renney as “Teflon Tom” don’t see it the same way he does.
I hope you’ll pardon the long quote here, but I do think the entire statement is worth reading.
“It’s difficult because everyone in our organization wants to win the Stanley Cup and we’d rather do that sooner rather than later. But I also feel very sure that philosophically we are all on the same page, that as much as we’re pursuing the championship this year, we’re also pursuing the development of our organization that will withstand the test of time, and that we’ll be a contending team for years and years,” Renney said.
“I guess I can take solace in that, but it doesn’t change the fact that if I lose eight in a row, we’ve got a serious problem, and certainly I would personally. And I understand that. And I’m fine with that….But at the same time, I’m not shooting bullets at people in Iraq. Not to overuse that, but that kind of stuff means a lot to me. It moves me a lot. I’m not saving lives. I’m not going to battle for my country. I’m coaching a team that’s supposed to entertain the people who are watching. And if it so happens that it came to pass where they feel they need to make a change, that’s the way it goes. I’ll be on my feet, instantaneously.”
In other news: