The Buffalo Sabres coaching search has finally come to an end as Phil Housley has gotten the job. It was reported earlier by Elliotte Friedman that it looked like he was going to get the job but then TSN’s Darren Dreger confirmed that he’s been hired by Buffalo. After this hire, all NHL teams now have a head coach for the start of the 2017-18 season.
Phil Housley Named Buffalo Sabres Head Coach
Housley will be taking over in Buffalo after Dan Bylsma got fired last month. Bylsma failed to make the playoffs in the two seasons he was head coach there. Housley has never been a head coach in the league before. He will be the head coach for the team where he started his playing career. He played 21 seasons in the league, the first eight of them being in Buffalo. Housley ranks fifth in franchise history with 558 points and retired in 2003 with 1,232 career points. He will be the Sabres 18th coach in franchise history and will try to lead them back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.
Before being hired in Buffalo, Housley was an assistant coach for the Nashville Predators under Peter Laviolette. He’s spent the last four years in Nashville and gained a lot of respect since he ran Nashville’s defensive corps which is one of the best in the league. Housley was also the head coach of the U.S. world junior team and led them to a gold medal.
After Jason Botterill was hired as general manager, he said at his introductory press conference that he wanted to have a head coach in place by the NHL Draft and he got his wish with Phil Housley.