Tom Renney Fired as Rangers Coach

With 21 games left in the regular season, the struggling New York Rangers have decided to make a change. No, this one doesn't involve Sean Avery.

Instead, the Rangers have fired head coach Tom Renney, according to Newsday. TSN is also reporting the move. Newsday says former Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld and former Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella are candidates to replace Renney.

The Rangers' latest loss was an overtime defeat to Toronto Sunday night. In that game, the Blueshirts took two too-many-men penalties, outshot the Maple Leafs 41-26, but needed a Michal Rozsival goal in the final minute just to force overtime.

More from Newsday's Steve Zipay:

Widely considered a literate, thoughtful coach whose game preparation couldn't be questioned, Renney had a formidable task this season without Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka and Brendan Shanahan as the team transitioned to a younger team without strong personalities.

But his personnel decisions and failure to get the most out of underachieving, highly-paid veterans and prospects cost him, although supporters say he did the best with the hand he was dealt. Inconsistent all season following a 10-2-1 start, the Rangers have slid in the Eastern Conference and lost 3-2 in overtime last night after a banner-raising ceremony for Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate that honored the tradition of the 82-year-old franchise.

Overall, the Rangers are in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, but they've had problems since the All-Star Break, going just 3-7-3. Included in that run are a 10-2 loss to a Dallas team that isn't exactly known for goal-scoring, and an embarrassing performance at home on national television eight days ago against Philadelphia (a 5-2 loss).

TSN points out that all four teams that played season-opening games in Europe this season (Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and Pittsburgh being the others) have now changed coaches. With Detroit playing in Stockholm next season, odds are good this is not a permanent jinx.

Tom Renney Fired as Rangers Coach originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Mon, 23 Feb 2009 12:32:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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