by Patrick Hoffman on 11/04/09 at 12:57 AM ET
Andrew Gross over at Ranger Rants has a great blog/transcript with former New York Ranger head coach and now Edmonton Oilers associate coach Tom Renney:
On taking the job as Quinn’s associate coach:
“He hired me for my first coaching job in Vancouver in 1996 as the GM of the Canucks and as soon as he (Oilers GM Steve Tambellini) said it, I said, ‘OK, this could work.’ I said, ‘Steve, listen, I’m going to need a little time to think this through. Tell me about your program.’ When I finished with Steve, I thought there probably isn’t another guy in the league that I could do this with and feel good about it. And I don’t mean that with any disrespect to anybody else. But I’m a head coach. And yet Pat is the type of guy, he gives the horse the bit. He’s given me a lot of freedom, lots of opportunity, lots of voice with all those types of things. He is the head coach and there are no two ways about that I certainly don’t blur the lines. But it’s one of those situations I think to myself that this will definitely work.
“I consider myself a hockey leader of sorts. I think I can help anybody win given the opportunity to contribute to my strengths. When I landed in Edmonton for my press conference, there were two voice mail messages to come to head coaching interviews. But I knew this is where I wanted to goo, the look of it all, the longevity of it, the whole setup. I said this is going to add years to my NHL career.”
On what he learned from his Rangers’ tenure:
“First of all, it’s all good. If you’re going to fall, fall forward and I think I always do that. The big thing for me is recognizing, again, the pulse of your team. I certainly had a voice of where we were going and how we were going about it and I certainly appreciate it. The big thing is tapping into the room, your people, keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s going on with those guys but, at the end of the day, making sure you continue to draw the line. Democracy doesn’t work in a crisis, not to suggest that we were in one. But at some point, you’ve got to step up. I think I did a decent job of that.
“I think I learned that I’m a pretty good coach. I think I learned I can adapt. I can put a game plan on the ice given whatever the talent might look like. Whereas, coming out of Vancouver, I came out of there wondering, ‘Am I right for this?’ I was certainly disheartened, disappointed. Pat was fired before I was and he was the GM. I didn’t feel real good about that. I didn’t have that feeling this time. I honestly felt like I could turn it around and why would I feel that way? If you don’t feel that way, don’t do that job. Coming out of Vancouver I felt, ‘Ehhh, I missed the mark a little bit.”
Click here for more on a truly decent human being and an above average hockey coach.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.