COLUMBUS, Ohio - New York Rangers coach Tom Renney was hit on the head by a stick and briefly lost consciousness during the second period Friday night.
He was taken to the dressing room and didn't return to the bench, but did watch the second half of the game with team medical personnel. The Rangers won 3-1.
"I wasn't real sure where I was there for a while," a glassy-eyed Renney said 30 minutes after the game.
He was hit by the stick of Columbus defenceman Rostislav Klesla midway through the second period when Klesla was hit by Ryan Callahan.
"Nobody tries to swing their stick like that into a bench," Callahan said. "If anything when I hit him there, I just carried the momentum and the stick came around and clipped him. I definitely don't think it was on purpose."
Renney was helped into the dressing room. A Rangers spokesman said Renney had a head injury but he declined to call it a concussion.
"I'm OK to fly back. I'm not supposed to be by myself tonight, which is usually the case anytime. So what's the difference?" Renney joked. "It's just precautionary for tonight. I feel much, much better than I did a while ago."
While the team was packing to head back to New York, Renney said he still wasn't 100 per cent.
Assistants Perry Pearn and Mike Pelino filled in for Renney after he left the bench.
"I was able to watch it in the medical room," Renney said. "They (medical personnel) thought I was starting to come around when I got a little vocal back there. I was watching it. The guys did a good job."