Tom Renney's reign is over. The Rangers coach was given the axe today (along with assistant Perry Pearn). But of all the people responsible for the disaster that the 2008-09 Blueshirts have become, Renney is probably the least culpable.
I’d put James Dolan (does even know he owns the team?), Glen Sather and the players all ahead of the now-former coach on the who’s-to-blame list.
Renney brought respectability back to the Rangers after they missed the NHL Playoffs for seven straight seasons. In his three full seasons as coach, he guided the team to the postseason all three times.
Meanwhile, Sather blundered his way through free agency, regrettably signing Scott Gomez, Chris Drury and Wade Redden, not to mention Patrick Rissmiller (remember him?). The team president saddled Renney with a poorly constructed squad that has neither enough scorers nor defensive-minded players.
Renney surely has made mistakes and is no motivator. The team has no fight, no passion, and no energy; the Rangers look dead right now. If the coach is supposed to motivate his team and have them skate through a brick wall for him, well, that wasn’t happening with Renney. Cerebral and thoughtful, he's probably too unemotional for his own good.
He hand-picks who he wants to hold accountable (see Prucha, Petr), and by putting his lines in a blender almost every shift (I won't even mention the overhauls between games), he puts the same deadbeats on the ice power play after feeble power play.
It looks like John Tortorella will be his replacement. He’s everything Tom Renney isn’t: fiery, passionate, and emotional. It should be interesting (and maybe even fun) to see what he does with this lifeless bunch of mediocrity.
You can’t fire the players, and nobody’s going to fire Glen Sather or James Dolan, so Tom Renney was the one who had to go.