The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/15/14 at 02:06 PM ET
Per the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno:
The Hockey News's Ken Campbell did a superb job of summarizing why Renney's job won't be easy:
When Bob Nicholson took over as president and CEO of Hockey Canada in 1998, few people outside the hockey industry knew who he was. Over the next 16 years, Nicholson went on to create a corporate monolith that generated millions of dollars in revenues and won countless gold medals on the international stage.
That will be an enormously difficult act to follow. That the board of Hockey Canada has reportedly handpicked Tom Renney to do it is, well, a little curious. Renney is a man of enormous integrity and has a coaching resume – particularly in the international game – that would rival that of anyone in the world. But this is the thing. Hockey Canada is not a hockey team. For the purposes of the president and CEO, Hockey Canada is far more a business than it is a hockey organization.
Perhaps there are multi-million dollar companies that would be comfortable hiring and NHL assistant coach to take over their day-to-day operations. Perhaps Renney will be brilliant at this and will transfer his vast hockey knowledge into the business of running Hockey Canada. But he’s going to need help. Lots of it.
While Renney will have input into who coaches Canada’s national teams, he won’t be evaluating players, selecting rosters and charting the direction of the teams that represent Canada in international competition. Hockey Canada already has a lot of people who do that sort of thing. Most of Nicholson’s time when he held the job was to oversee the completion of business deals such as securing lucrative sites for the World Junior Championship, negotiating broadcasting contracts and keeping the corporate sponsorship money flowing into Hockey Canada’s coffers.
Because it’s that money that not only funds the programs of excellence that keep Canada competitive in international competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships (men, women, under-20 and under-18), but it also flows down to the grassroots programs that fund minor hockey programs across the country. At a time when Hockey Canada faces very real registration challenges – numbers are going down, costs to play minor hockey and the sacrifices involved are huge issues and lower birth rates in Canada indicate there will be a small pool of children from which to cull hockey players – it needs to continue to fund those programs.
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