Tom Renney is stepping down as president of Hockey Canada in a move he hopes will make the organization more “diverse.”
Scott Smith, Hockey Canada’s chief operating officer, will replace Renney as president as of July 1, while Renney will remain as CEO and continue to lead and set the direction for the organization.
“We make ourselves more diverse and put ourselves in a position to show necessary cache that’s required in the different elements that we work in,” Renney said of the change in roles. “(My job) is that of a vision, of inspiration to the masses, helping divide and conquer as much as anything.
“(Scott’s) job is from an operations perspective primarily making sure that on a daily basis from coast-to-coast-to-coast our staff is functioning as they need to.”
Renney said the move to promote Smith will allow the organization to more effectively deliver on its mandate to grow the game within Canada, and abroad.
“My hope is that I get to be out there more and evolve with the branches specifically where I get into the communities across the country,” said Renney. “Whether you’re a player, coach or an official — whatever the case may be — I think the message needs to be not just heard and seen, but you’ve got to reach out and touch.
“(That’ll) be my job to be out there and connect with the vision and bring it to life.”
Smith initially joined Hockey Canada in 1995 and was named COO in 2007. He was considered for the presidency before Renney was hired in July of 2014. He’ll continue to oversee all day-to-day operations of the organization, but will take on a more public role for the organization as part of his duties as president.
675,000 registered players
“We have about 675,000 registered players across the country and we want to grow that number. We want to give more kids a better experience. Ultimately, they’ll grow up and maybe have opportunities like the players who are (at the world juniors),” Smith said.
“To do that, it takes a significant amount of time and effort. I can tell you over the last two and a half years of working alongside Tom, there’s not many things that we don’t co-operate on and we don’t discuss in great detail.”
Renney was not made available to address the growing concern of empty seats at Air Canada Centre through the first three days of competition at the world juniors.
Attendance and ticket pricing at both the 2015 and 2017 world juniors in Toronto and Montreal has been an issue in Renney’s tenure as president of Hockey Canada.
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