Friday, 20 October, 2017

Sabres hire Housley as head coach

Minnesota native Phil Housley will lead his former team Minnesota native Phil Housley will lead his former team
Damon Campbell | 16 June, 2017, 06:20

"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", Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said.

That career earned him an induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

Housley was hired on Thursday and takes over for Dan Bylsma, who was sacked along with general manager Tim Murray in April.

Housley takes over as a first-time National Hockey League head coach in replacing Dan Bylsma, who was sacked along with general manager Tim Murray in April after Buffalo extended its franchise worst playoff drought to six years.

Phil Housley began his Hall of Fame playing career in Buffalo.

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Nashville advanced to the Stanley Cup Final this year but lost to the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins by a best-of-seven score of 4-2. He ranks fifth in franchise history with 558 points in 608 games and holds every single-season record for defensemen. He is also the Sabres' career and individual-season leader in goals, assists and points by a defenseman. In 1983, he was part of the First All-Rookie Team.

Housley is the 18 coach in franchise history. With a rebuild still under way in Buffalo, the Sabres will now have to decide which direction they're heading in with decisions to make on players such as Evander Kane.

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.

It appears the Buffalo Sabres are close to hiring Dan Bylsma's replacement behind the bench.

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