Hockey Canada President and CEO Tom Renney addresses the media in Toronto. Photo: Andrea Cardin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Incoming Hockey Canada President satisfied
On the day of the medal games new Hockey Canada President and CEO Tom Renney met members of the media to discuss the 2015 World Junior Championship.
There wasn’t a shortage of questions for the former international and NHL coach. The Canadian media wanting to know his and Hockey Canada’s views on where Canada’s hockey development stands in the world and whether there will be changes when the World Juniors come back to Montreal and Toronto in 2017 but with reversed roles.
“In both cities the level has been exceptional and the organization and volunteers did an outstanding job,” Renney said, summarizing his impressions on his first World Juniors heading the organization.
However, Renney knows that coming back for the second time there will be things to improve.
“We have to pay attention to what was done well and what wasn’t and come up with a strategy and move forward,” he said, denying speculation about a possible change of venues due to the lower attendance figures in Montreal.
“We’re deeply committed to Montreal. We feel very strongly about Montreal being an outstanding hockey market in the world,” Renney said and added about the question concerning the price policy: “We’ll review this, among other things.”
Asked about whether the profit will be similar like last time the event was held in Canada, Renney answered that the numbers will be known after the event: “But we can say it’s a healthy event at the very least and we want to pump back to development and grassroots hockey as much as we can.”
In Calgary and Edmonton in 2012 the World Juniors generated $22 million that went back to grassroots hockey all over Canada and with the new profit-sharing plan that includes having the event in Canada every two years part of the money for development programs will also be used for hockey worldwide.
Prior to the gold-medal game there were also questions about the game itself and what the result will mean for hockey development in Canada especially with fans in hockey’s motherland longing for World Junior gold for several years.
“We’ve been 17 consecutive times in the semi-finals; we’re doing something right,” Renney said. “Winning is the ultimate price, and we and the other teams have the same objective.”
Fittingly, Renney was the coach who initiated the top-four streak when Team Canada won silver in 1999 in Winnipeg.
Asked about Team Canada’s wunderkind Connor McDavid, Renney said: “He’s an outstanding player. The beauty of this event is to see the very best of the best. The beauty of Connor is it’s all about the team at this time, and that makes him special.”