Buffalo Sabres hire Phil Housley as head coach

Minnesota native Phil Housley will lead his former team

With the Stanley Cup Final in the books, the Buffalo Sabres have their new head coach as former Nashville Predators assistant coach and former Buffalo Sabres player Phil Housley was named head coach on Thursday at Key Bank Center.

Housley is the Sabres' franchise leader in almost all offensive categories for a defenseman, including (deep breath) career hat tricks (2), single-season goals (31 in 1983-84), single-season assists (60 in 1989-90), single-season points (81 in 1989-90), career goals (156), career assists (334), and career points (490). Housley also played for the Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Sabres announced Thursday they have hired the Predators assistant to replace Dan Bylsma, who was sacked in April.

"We're over that now", Housley said, with a big laugh.

The hiring comes after reports earlier today that the Sabres didn't contact Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet, considered one of the favorites to land the position.

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On the ice, the Sabres were inconsistent on offense and their defense had difficulty in transition and moving the puck out of Buffalo's end.

A member of the Buffalo Sabres, USA Hockey and IIHF Halls of Fame, Housley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. "It's just about learning the system, learning the way we want to play".

It also caps a rapid rise up the coaching ranks for Housley, who was coaching at Stillwater High School a mere four years ago while also working closely with USA Hockey.

He finished his career fourth all-time in points among National Hockey League defenseman and third among all American players. "Happy anniversary.' So it was a great present".

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