South St. Paul's Phil Housley hired as head coach of Buffalo Sabres

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The Buffalo Sabres have a new coach, and after much anticipation, Phil Housley is the man for the job.

The Sabres are reaching into their past to find their head coach of the future.

Housley has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, but the Hockey Hall of Famer also enjoyed a decorated playing career in western NY.

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A native of South St. Paul, Minnesota, Housley began his coaching career in 2004 as head coach of Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota. Housley's career spanned until the 2002-03 season.

Most recently, Housley served as an assistant for Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey last September.

P.K. Subban, a former Norris Trophy victor who just finished his first season with the Predators, raved about Housley to NHL.com last month. The Predators had one of the league's top defenses that finished top two in goals scored by defensemen all four years under Housley.

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Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Sabres' coaching process is that Rick Tocchet, who just won a second straight Stanley Cup as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh, wasn't contacted by Botterill, who was an assistant general manager in Pittsburgh before getting the Buffalo gig. He's a member of the Buffalo Sabres, USA Hockey and IIHF Halls of Fame, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

The sixth overall pick in the 1982 NHL Draft immediately became a presence on the Sabres' blue line, tallying 19 goals and 66 points in 77 games as a rookie.

In total, Housley played 1,495 games for eight teams, scoring 338 goals and 894 assists for 1,232 points.

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