Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have announced this morning that General Manager & Head Coach Tyler Rennette will be stepping down from his roles with the organization at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season.
Rennette, a native of North Bay, ONT, Canada, has been at the helm of the Jr. Blues since the 2017-18 season, leading our club to the playoffs in each full season since taking over. During his tenure as bench boss for the Jr. Blues Tyler has compiled a record of 131-112-19, tied with Tony Zasowski for 3rd Most Wins All-Time in Jr. Blues history.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to have been able to coach the Jr. Blues,” said Rennette. “I feel very lucky to have coached the young men that have come through Springfield during my time and seeing them continue their hockey dreams at the collegiate level makes the long bus rides worth it.”
Rennette has been very successful at moving players on. 37 players have advanced to the NCAA (Division 1 or 3) while under his tutelage, including four on this year’s squad. Some of the memorable names under that umbrella include Brandon Puricelli, Ben Schmidling, Ethan Stewart, Nikita Kozyrev, Ethan Roberts, Connor Smith, and many, many more.
“One of the hardest parts of my job is having to say goodbye to our players when they age out,” he said. “Everything else is just hockey.”
Tyler joined the Jr. Blues as an Assistant Coach under then GM & Head Coach Tony Zasowski during the 2016-17 season. He came to Springfield after two successful seasons with the reigns of the Peoria Mustangs (NA3HL), where he finished his time with a 55-31-8 record and back-to-back playoff appearances.
Prior to coaching he had a prolific playing career that included stops in the OHL, ECHL, AHL, UHL, and CHL. Tyler began his playing career for the Waterloo Siskins of the MWJHL before splitting three seasons between the North Bay Centennials and Erie Otters of the OHL. He was drafted in the 2nd Round, #40 overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues and proceeded to play parts of 9 professional seasons in North America, most notably for the Peoria Rivermen in the ECHL.
The 2012 Peoria Rivermen Hockey Hall of Fame inductee played five seasons in Peoria, totaling 119 goals, 118 assists, and was a +80 overall. His best season came during the 2002-03 campaign where he lit the lamp 42 times while adding 32 assists, leading the team in goals and plus-minus (+30). Overall, in 471 professional hockey games Rennette registered 172 goals, 216 assists, 356 PIMs, and a +101 rating.
“I would like to thank my wife, Julie, and my children, Owen, Ryder, and Stella as well as our owner, Dan Ferguson, and all of the staff that have helped me along the way,” said Tyler. “Thank you to the fans and the Springfield community as well for making me feel at home and welcomed from day one.”
Tyler will remain in his duties throughout the remainder of the 2022-23 season and will hand over control of the team during the offseason. We still have a lot of business to take care of on the ice, but we are happy for Tyler and thank him for everything that he has done for the team, our fans, and the city of Springfield!