You could see this coming miles away.
Per TSN’s Darren Dreger, (now former) Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley is now the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, the organization in which he started his Hall of Fame career.
The sixth overall pick in the 1982 NHL Draft, Housley went onto play his first eight years of pro hockey with the Sabres. During his time in Buffalo, he represented Team USA four times in international competition, twice in the Canada Cup (the predecessor of the World Cup) and twice at the World Championships. In 1990, he became a member of the Winnipeg Jets and subsequently bounced around from team to team afterward before retiring in 2003. During his Hall of Fame career, Housley became the highest scoring American-born defenseman and logged 1,495 regular season games (and 85 more playoff games) over 21 seasons.
His post-playing career took him to Stillwater High School in Stillwater, Minnesota where he was the head coach for nine years. He was named the bench boss of Team USA’s 2013 World Junior team (a squad that featured future Nashville Predator defenseman Seth Jones) and promptly won gold. From there, he earned his first NHL coaching position, the one he had with the Predators until today.
These past two weeks were his first experience ever in a Stanley Cup Final.
The question now becomes who will replace him at Peter Laviolette’s side? The lead candidate would logically be the main man in Milwaukee, Nashville’s top minor league affiliate, Dean Evason. The original San Jose Shark has been the head coach of the Admirals for a good run of five seasons now and has certainly paid his dues. That said, he also has experience behind an NHL bench, having been an assistant coach of the Washington Capitals from 2005 to taking the lead job in Milwaukee in 2012.
According to his Twitter account, today is also he and his wife, Karin’s, 32nd wedding anniversary. Lots of reasons to celebrate in the Housley’s household on this Thursday.
UPDATE: The Sabres made the hiring official just minutes after the initial Dreger report.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua