The Buffalo Sabres made the right call on Thursday, calling on Phil Housley to become their 18th head coach in franchise history. He was twice an assistant coach for the World Junior team before finally serving as head coach in 2013, when he won gold with a squad that included Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe.
Housley was drafted by the Sabres in the first round (6th overall) of the 1982 NHL Draft. Housley is a Hall of Fame defender who spent His 23-season career split between the Buffalo Sabres, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Housley's career spanned until the 2002-03 season. Housley's coached under both Barry Trotz and Peter Laviolette. He is credited for overseeing a highly skilled and speedy group of defensemen who helped Nashville make its first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history.
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FILE - In this September 18, 2015, file photo, Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley instructs players at NHL hockey training camp in Nashville, Tenn. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015. "His approach to the game aligns with the way we envision our hockey team playing, and we're excited to see where his leadership will take us".
In total, Housley played 1,495 games for eight teams, scoring 338 goals and 894 assists for 1,232 points. His rookie season featured 19 goals and 66 points in 77 games, plus three goals and seven points in 10 playoff games.
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Rather than focus on his now-former players in Nashville, Housley turned his attention to Sabres defensemen, including up-and-coming stars Rasmus Ristolainen and Jake McCabe.
Housley began coaching in his home state in 2004, and was behind the bench at Stillwater for nine years.
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