Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Buffalo Sabres hire Phil Housley as coach

Buffalo Sabres hire Phil Housley as coach

The Hall of Famer will tackle a hard job as the Sabres' fifth head coach since the 2012-13 season.

He was selected No. 6 overall in the 1982 National Hockey League draft by the Sabres, and after his tenure in Buffalo, he played for the Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs. The signing was rumored to be in the works for a few days but was finally confirmed and was made official by the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

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Housley most-recently served an assistant coach with the the Nashville Predators during their Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup Finals. During his four seasons with Nashville, he formed one of the NHL's best defensive corps. Housley also has worldwide experience, coaching the United States to a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships.

During his career, he played in seven All-Star Games and was named to the First All-Rookie Team in 1983. His 1,232 career points (338 goals, 894 assists) rank third among American players and fourth among defensemen all-time. He's also played in 85 playoff games spread across 13 postseasons, scoring 13 goals and 56 points in those contests.

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Housley's departure will leave Peter Laviolette looking to make his first staff hire since forming his initial staff that included Housley and fellow assistant Kevin McCarthy when he was announced the head coach in 2014.

Housley replaces Dan Bylsma, who was sacked by Buffalo in April after two mediocre seasons with the team.

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2004 Season: Player Jason Botterill of the Buffalo Sabres. He accepted the job on May 22, 2013, and over the last four years has worked closely with the star-studded blue line, which was a big reason he was consider a favorite to land a head coaching job this offseason.

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