Phil Housley is the next coach of the Buffalo Sabres

June 15, 2017 - 2:13 pm
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres have found the replacement for Dan Bylsma. Phil Housley will be the 18th head coach in franchise history.

Housley has been an assistant with the Nashville Predators which just took Pittsburgh to six games before losing in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Housley was in total control of the defense that many felt was the best in the National Hockey League.

Housley will be introduced at 4:00 and you’ll hear it live on WGR Sports Radio 550.

In a statement general manager Jason Botterill said, "Based on his experience as a player and coach, we think Phil is uniquely qualified to be our head coach and to help us achieve our organizational goals,”

“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 the future."

Housley spent four seasons in Nashville and comes back to the team that drafted him sixth overall in the 1982 draft. Housley made the jump to the NHL right out of high school and scored 19 goals and 47 assists for 66 points in his rookie season.

The Hockey Hall of Famer played 1,495 NHL games with Buffalo, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Calgary, New Jersey, Washington, Chicago and Toronto.

He played mostly defense, although Scotty Bowman liked to occasionally put him at center. Housley scored 338 goals with 894 assists for 1232 points. In just his second NHL season, Housley netted 31 goals for the Sabres.

The 53-year-old Housley started coaching in 2004 when he took over at Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota. He coached there and in the USA Hockey program for nine seasons.

Throughout his time with USA Hockey, Housley has served as an assistant coach at two IIHF World Junior Championships and three IIHF World Championships. Most notably, he served as the head coach when Team USA won the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Housley played in seven NHL All-Star games and seems like a perfect fit for a team that has Rasmus Ristolainen, Jake McCabe, Brendan Guhle, Casey Nelson, Will Borgen and Casey Fitzgerald here and in the pipeline. Housley made McCabe his captain when Team USA won the gold medal at the World Junior Tournament.

TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that former Islanders head coach Jack Capuano is a candidate to join Housley’s staff. 

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