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Renney clarifies remarks about disagreement with Oilers management

Tom Renney

Edmonton Oilers head coach Tom Renney talks to his team during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)


Hey, remember two days ago when it sure sounded like former Edmonton coach Tom Renney told a French-language newspaper that he was fired by the Oilers in part because he wouldn’t increase the ice time of young players who were coming back injuries?

Yeah, Renney’s denying he ever said that.

"(The story) was all good, outside of the fact that I never, ever spoke to (the reporter) about injured players coming back and ice time being diminished and that being a discrepancy in philosophy or a contentious issue with management – never,” Renney told the Edmonton Journal yesterday.

“My example of that was that with respect to a young team and managing their ice time accordingly, so as to keep them healthy, and coach for the future, as opposed to the moment, which is very much what the NHL is all about, I may have paid the price for that.”

It’s an important clarification, because as the Journal’s Jonathan MacKinnon writes, “A disagreement over appropriate ice time for emerging stars is one thing, but being instructed to force-feed minutes to players who have returned from surgery enters the area of maltreatment of those players.”

If there was a breakdown in translation, we imagine it may have been related to the fact that Renney wanted to avoid overplaying the Oilers’ young talent in order to reduce the chance of injury.

“My whole motivation was so that we could play injury free,” he said.