After helping the Predators to their best season in franchise history, assistant coach Phil Housley has gotten a promotion. During his career, he played in seven All-Star Games and was named to the First All-Rookie Team in 1983.
Housley has head-coaching experience but not at the National Hockey League level. "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". He is credited for overseeing a highly skilled and speedy group of defensemen that helped Nashville make its first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. Housley's coached under both Barry Trotz and Peter Laviolette. Now, he's one of 31 head coaches in the National Hockey League. During his nine seasons at the helm, Housley turned around the school's program while also accepting numerous opportunities to coach for Team USA at the global level.
He also had a connection to Botterill from their playing days.
The praise isn't necessarily a surprise.
"He's so much fun to be around and he never takes anything too seriously, he can always have a smile on his face and laugh with the guys and try to joke around", Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm added.
I asked Ryan Ellis about Phil Housley a few weeks ago. Prior to that, he coached Team USA to a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship. Somewhere Jake McCabe is singing "Reunited and it feels so good".
The Buffalo Sabres have officially ended their search for a new head coach.
His acumen as a defensive coach helped develop players like Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis with the Predators into outstanding blueliners, and the Sabres need a teacher like that for a moribund defense corps.