SBD/July 16, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Renney Tapped To Lead Hockey Canada, Will Be Tasked With Boosting Participation

Renney has worked in various coaching and player personnel jobs around the NHL
TOM RENNEY yesterday was named Hockey Canada President & CEO, and he is a "respected hockey man, and his decades of experience at the amateur, international and professional levels ultimately made him" the NGB's choice to replace BOB NICHOLSON, according to Stephen Whyno of the CP. Hockey Canada BOD Chair JIM HORNELL said that what separated Renney from other candidates was "his values base, connections throughout the sport and passion to grow the game." Hornell: "He's a people person, he connects well, he communicates well with people and certainly he's recognized not only in Canada but throughout the hockey world, and that's important." Around the NHL, where Renney has worked in various coaching and player personnel jobs, he is "lauded for his ability to bridge gaps and build a consensus." The Hockey Canada that Renney inherits in '14 is "one that Hornell emphasized is 'on a very solid foundation.'" Among Renney's new challenges is "to make hockey a more affordable sport for Canadian children and to maintain interest in it beyond the youth level" (CP, 7/15).

WORK TO DO
: In Edmonton, Jim Matheson notes Renney is "tasked with making hockey the winter sport of choice for more Canadians; of growing the game, not just winning the games; although being president of Hockey Canada also means bringing home the gold medal at the world junior and world championships, and the Olympics." He now is Hockey Canada’s "main man," after a process in which Hornell said he was “overwhelmed by the quality of candidates.” Renney said, "I know other candidates for this position were above and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. From talking to my peer group, they all said this was a fabulous hockey job. A no-brainer" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 7/16). YAHOO SPORTS' Sunaya Sapurji noted Hockey Canada recently has seen "either flat or declining numbers in terms of enrollment." The increasing "costs and safety -- particularly concussion awareness -- are two of the major reasons many parents are declining to put their children in the sport." Hockey Canada COO SCOTT SMITH will "continue to run the business side of the organization." Smith has the "business acumen Renney does not, but given his hockey experience the pair should be able to mesh well together to lead Hockey Canada" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/15). Renney said, "I want to pay particular attention to development, I want to pay particular attention to grassroots hockey" (QMI AGENCY, 7/15).
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