Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Sports | By Mabel Barber

Buffalo Sabres hire Phil Housley as coach

Buffalo Sabres hire Phil Housley as coach

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that the Buffalo Sabres have hired Phil Housley to be their next coach.

In a move that was hardly surprising to the hockey world, the Buffalo Sabres named Housley their new head coach.

Phil Housley still remembers high-fiving Sabres fans at Memorial Auditorium in opening his Hall of Fame career in Buffalo during the 1980s. He has worked as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators.

He will be the first head coach to serve under new general manager Jason Botterill, replacing Dan Bylsma, who was sacked along with general manager Tim Murray in April. Most notably, he served as the head coach when Team USA won the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Botterill was the Penguins assistant GM and forced to leave the team during its playoff upon being hired by the Sabres last month. "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 fact, he played more games (608) and scored more points (558) for that franchise than for any of the other seven that followed.

Botterill and Housley have several connections.

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Starting in 2004, Housley spent nine seasons coaching Stillwater Area High School in his native Minnesota. Fast forward 35 years, he's now the franchise's head coach.

"He's detailed. He runs good meetings, and he has the attention of the players", Laviolette said during the finals.

"He's one of the best defensemen ever to play", Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said of Housley. When you have a guy like that to come back to the bench to, you want to soak in everything.

Phil Housley receives his Hockey Hall of Fame ring from Lanny McDonald in 2015.

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