SUN Hockey Pool

Renney on the road with Oilers

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:46 PM ET

Tom Renney wasn’t calling the shots at practice on Thursday, but he’s staying with the club for the time being.

The Edmonton Oilers head coach was behind the bench on Wednesday despite the fact his father, Joe, died the night before.

Renney left with the team for St. Louis where the Oilers will start a three-game road trip on Friday. He may, however, leave the team at some point during the trip to attend his father’s funeral in Cranbrook, B.C.

“Tom is coming with us on the trip, everything is business as usual at the moment,” said Oilers associate coach Ralph Krueger. “His family hasn’t made final plans yet for a memorial or a funeral and those will be following in the next few days.

“At the moment Tom is on board and running the ship as usual.”

Renney did speak with the media following the Oilers loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, but the subject of his father’s death was not broached.

On Thursday, the Oilers practised in Leduc prior to heading to the airport. Renney, who watched from the stands, addressed the team during a closed-door meeting in the locker room following practice.

“Unfortunately that’s the reality of life,” Krueger said. “Unfortunately he found out late the night before, and the next night he was behind the bench coaching again.

“The reality is to try to take the good out of somebody like that. He spoke a lot to the team about his father Joe, and was very proud of what he had done in his life and about his values and principles. That’s kind of been part of his conversations since the fall and I think that’s very important, that the team understands what a great man Tom’s father was and what he meant to Tom.”

Renney is in his first year as head coach of the club. He was hired prior to the start of last season as an associate to Pat Quinn and eventually took over the head coaching job.

“This bring back the reality of how much we should enjoy our situation here,” Krueger said. “We’re alive, playing the game we all love, it’s a great game, the best game on the planet and I think as much pain as there is for everybody — especially for Tom above all — the lessons you get in these kind of times are to enjoy the day, to work hard in the day and to be very grateful for working in a profession that we all want to be in. That’s the main message that’s coming into the group right now.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/DerekVanDiest


Videos

Photos