EDMONTON - For the majority of the Edmonton Oilers, there was little doubt former head coach Tom Renney would find another job in the league.
Renney is simply too good of a coach and knows too much about the game to be unemployed for an extended period of time.
On Thursday, the former Oilers bench boss was hired by the Detroit Red Wings, where he’ll serve as an associate coach to Mike Babcock.
“I figured it would only be a matter of time for him,” said Oilers winger Ryan Jones. “He’s a great guy, a great teacher of the game and, for any organization, it’s beneficial to have a person like that.
“For whatever reason it wasn’t the right fit for the Oilers right now, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a right fit for another team.”
Renney, 57, spent three seasons with the Oilers, originally brought on board as an associate to Pat Quinn shortly after Craig MacTavish was relieved of his duties following the 2008-2009 season.
Renney took over the head coaching duties a year after joining the club and amassed a 57-85-22 record during that time, as the Oilers finished 30th and 29th respectively in the league standings.
Renney’s contract was not renewed for the upcoming season by the Oilers, who promoted associate coach Ralph Krueger to the head post.
“For me, there were aspects of my game that he really held me accountable for when he was here,” said Jones of Renney. “There were things that he wanted me to get better at, being away from the puck and trying to be more of a physical player.
“He was a really easy coach to play for. He was passionate, he wanted to win and he cared about each player, not only as a hockey player, but as a person. I find those coaches super easy to play for.”