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New assistant meets Red Wings' needs

The SportsXchange

The Detroit Red Wings were seeking someone with NHL head-coaching experience to fill their assistant coaching vacancy, someone who believes in an up-tempo, puck-possession style of game, and someone who communicates well with veteran players.

That is why they hired Tom Renney on July 5, someone who meets all those qualifications. Renney has a record of 260-255-9-68 (W-L-T-OTL) over parts of nine seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, the New York Rangers and the Edmonton Oilers. He replaces Jeff Blashill, who took the head coaching job with Grand Rapids, Detroit's AHL affiliate, on June 25.

"I went through all my contacts, and in the end, Tom Renney, without question, was the best man for the job," Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. "He'll bring thoughts from different organizations that we can learn from."

Babcock said Renney, 57, will be involved with the whole team, not just focusing on forwards or defense. Renney will be heavily involved in trying to remedy the Wings' power play, which ranked 22nd in the NHL in 2011-12. The Oilers, under Renney and former associate coach Ralph Krueger (now the head coach), ranked third on the power play last season.

Renney is an advocate of the Wings' puck-possession style.

"I do like the puck, and if I'm giving it up I'm doing my best to get it back quickly with a certain level of exuberance," Renney said.

Renney was an assistant coach for Canada's gold medal-winning 2004 World Championship team coached by Babcock and assembled by Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill. Renney was the head coach for Canada's 1994 silver medal-winning Olympic team.
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