Rangers coach Tom Renney should be fired during All-Star break

I got up early today and watched the Rangers play the Bruins on NBC and what I saw was a New York team that is lost. They have no identity as a team, there is no ‘Rangers style’ of hockey and there is no consistency from one game to the next. The lines are not working, the defense is terrible and the team seems to lack a spark at the beginning of games. Since January 1st the Rangers are 2-6-2. They are currently in last place in the Atlantic Division at 22-20-6 and if the season were to end right now they would not make the playoffs.

All of this is unacceptable considering the roster that the Rangers have. Jaromir Jagr, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Henrik Lundqvist, Brendan Shanahan…no team with that many offensive stars and a goalie that’s been a Vezina Trophy finalist in each of the last two years should be in the position that the Rangers currently find themselves. Something has got to change and the sooner the better.

The Rangers, like every team in the NHL other than the Anaheim Ducks, are looking for help on defense. Since there are very few, if any, defenseman on the trading block that would actually help them and since the competition/price for those defenseman will be sky high it’s unlikely that the Rangers will get that help this season. Therefore, the only thing they can do right now that can affect their season is to fire head coach Tom Renney.

I believe that Renney should be fired during the All-Star break and that the Rangers should hire Pat Burns as the interim head coach. Burns is a three-time Jack Adams trophy winner who has a 501-350-161-14 record as a head coach in the NHL. He’s won a Stanley Cup and is the best man available to get the Rangers to play better right away. Burns last coached with the Devils in 2003-2004 and left the team due to cancer. According to reports Burns’ health is good enough for him to return to coaching and I think the Rangers would be a perfect fit. He could finish out the season and then determine this summer if his health allowed him to continue coaching or not.

The Rangers must make a move soon before the Leafs have a chance to hire Burns and New York must do something now while there is still time for the move to make a difference. A few years ago the Kings waited until March to fire Andy Murray and by then it was too late to turn things around in time for the playoffs. John Torchetti came into Los Angeles and the losing continued. The Rangers, though, have a chance to make a move over the All-Star break which would give their new coach a chance to get his staff on the same page and get a few practices in to get his players back on the right track. Now’s the time, Rangers. Make the move or else kiss your promising season goodbye.

About Doug Stolhand 27042 Articles
Doug Stolhand is one of the co-founders and co-hosts of the Puck Podcast and has been a member of the NHL media since the show's inception in 2006.


  1. When Shanny left the Wings to join the Rangers, it provided the spark and veteran leadership they needed. When he’s not clicking, they go nowhere, just like before he arrived–they were direction-less. When Shanny arrived and showed Jagr respect, it motivated Jagr, that’s now over. Jagr is THE cancer on any team he plays for. He may be talented but when his mind is elsewhere, as it is every other game, he brings down the entire team. They should definitely sacrifice the head coach as is normal in this situation and also make Shanahan the captain of this team–everyone knows he is the “captain” in every other respect.

  2. Well the Rangers swept the Thrashers two games this week which was HUGE. It makes up (sort of) for the sweep at the hands of the Bruins.

    The team is playing better and Henrik looks to be over his slump. Hopefully the momentum is on their side. They have a big road trip coming up after the All Star break.

  3. Yes, the Rangers did beat the Thrashers twice – though it took a shootout in a game that the Thrashers did not have Ilya Kovalchuk to win the second game. I think those two wins will save Renney’s job which is unfortunate for the Rangers as they will not get to play the Thrashers much more the rest of the year and I expect them to go right back to their losing ways once the break is over.

  4. LOL love your optimism, Doug. But I do agree about the shootout game. They were pretty flat for two periods after the ceremony, but they did come back to tie in the third and dominated the overtime, so at least they showed me some grit there. They have come back a few times in the third this year which is encouraging.

    I do think Renney is miscoaching this team and having them play a little too defensive and not letting them free-wheel a bit. But playing in those close games earlier in the year bodes well for them down the stretch and if Lundqvist can get back to the way he was earlier and the 2nd half of last year, then the Rangers can absolutely make the playoffs and go deep.

    They were in a two month slump where the defense and goaltending were bad. If they play the way they did in the 2nd half of last year and October and November of this year, they will be fine. The team is totally healthy now too, which helps.

  5. For the past two seasons Jagr carried the Rangers on his back. In 05/06 he was clearly the MVP of the league and the awards people got it wrong when they just awarded the Hart to the Art Ross winner. The truth is the Rangers without Jagr are extremely thin on scoring talent. Unfortunately Jagr is now clearly past his prime and so is Shanahan. Drury’s not scoring like he did last year and Gomez is the only Ranger playing up to his potential. The Rangers need to add one or more players who can put the puck in the net. Jagr carried a heavy load for 2 seasons and it just may be that Tom Renney was part of that load. In other words it’s possible that Jagr’s hard work made Renney’s performance look better than it actually was. Maybe they need to replace Renney, maybe not. One thing is for certain, they need to add one or more goal scorers.

  6. Pat Burns is still under contract to the Devils as a Special Assignment Scout. Even if he wanted to coach another team this season, I don’t see Lou Lamoriello letting Burns out of his contract to go coach the big-city rival Rangers.

    Also, Pat Burns is probably even more defensive-minded than Tom Renney, so bringing Burns in wouldn’t energize the Rangers’ offense.

    There is a Pat that I feel would be a good fit for the Rangers. Pat Quinn. When he took over the Maple Leafs in the 1998-99 season, he dropped the trap that was in place under prior coach Mike Murphy. Also, the Vancouver team that lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Rangers in 1994 was a good offensive team.

    If Glen Sather can convince Quinn to come out of retirement to coach the Rangers, then Quinn should replace Tom Renney. Otherwise, I don’t think you can force Sather to become interim Head Coach on top of being President and GM. I don’t think of assistant coaches Perry Pearn, Mike Pelino, and Benoit Allaire as head coaching material. And Hartford Head Coach Jim Schoenfeld has said that he has no desire to be an NHL Head Coach anymore. So if you can’t get Quinn, I guess you’re stuck with Renney.

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