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Tom Renney Fired as New York Rangers Coach

Here is some NHL hockey news which I learned about on NHL Live! – a few minutes ago. The article is taken from Newday.com:
http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/rangers/ny-sprang0224,0,4805031.story

In the midst of a late-season tailspin and with the strong possibility of missing the playoffs, the Rangers dismissed head coach Tom Renney Monday after more five years behind the bench.

No replacement was immediately named.

A team spokesman said assistant coach Perry Pearn also was fired, but fellow assistant Mike Pelino and goaltending coach Benoit Allaire remian.

Ending weeks of media speculation, Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather ultimately decided to fire Renney, who led the Rangers to three straight playoff appearances after the NHL lockout in 2004-05.

Renney, 53, was named interim head coach on Feb. 25, 2004 and the 33rd head coach of the club on July 6, 2004. The British Columbia native — who coached Team Canada to a silver medal in 1993 and junior teams to championships — ends his tenure fourth on the Rangers all-time coaching list in wins.

Widely considered a literate, thoughtful coach whose game preparation couldn’t be questioned, Renney had a formidable task this season without Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka and Brendan Shanahan as the team transitioned to a younger team without strong personalities.

But his personnel decisions and failure to get the most out of underachieving, highly-paid veterans and prospects cost him, although supporters say he did the best with the hand he was dealt. Inconsistent all season following a 10-2-1 start, the Rangers have slid to eighth place in the Eastern Conference and lost 3-2 in overtime last night after a banner-raising ceremony for Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate that honored the tradition of the 82-year-old franchise.

In his first 20 games during the 2003-04 season, when Renney replaced Sather behind the bench, the Rangers went 5-15, but led the team to three straight playoff appearances after the lockout and was 128-83-35 coming into this season. Renney was the head coach of the Canucks from June 1996 to November 1997, when he was fired and replaced by Mike Keenan.

In 2007-08, the Rangers went 42-27-13 and were ousted by the Penguins in the second round of playoffs.

In 2006-07, they were defeated by the Sabres in second round. In 2005-06, they amassed 100 points, the sixth-highest in club history.

Four other NHL coaches have been fired this year. Chicago’s Denis Savard four games into the season at (1-2-1), Barry Melrose 16 games into his Tampa sojourn; Peter Laviolette, whose Canes missed the playoffs in 2006-07 and ’07-08 and Craig Hartsburg (17-24-7) after 48 games with the circus in Ottawa.

At least four NHL coaches have been in their posts longer that Renney: Lindy Ruff (11 years), Barry Trotz (9) and Jacques Lemaire and Craig MacTavish (8).

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