The Detroit Red Wings added former Edmonton Oilers head coach Tom Renney to their staff in the offseason, and hope he will be able to improve their special teams play while working as an associate coach. The addition of an experienced coach to a staff that includes head coach Mike Babcock and associate coach Bill Peters will hopefully keep the Wings near the top of the Western Conference.
While with the Oilers, he made significant improvements in their power play scoring, and will now look to do the same for a Wings’ team that finished in the bottom third in power play scoring last season. With the departures of Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom, the team needs to find players that can fill their important special teams slots. Ian White, Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey will all be capable replacements for Lidstrom’s shot from the point, and Johan Franzen will be looked to as a front of the net replacement for Holmstrom.
Renney was a head coach with the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks before taking the job with the Oilers. In almost 600 NHL games coached in his career, he had 260 wins and three playoff appearances. The move to the Wings should be a positive one for him, as he takes over the spot formerly occupied by Jeff Blashill. The Red Wings tabbed Blashill to be the head coach of their AHL affiliate the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he has the team in first place in the division at almost the halfway point of the season.