Sabres hire Housely as head coach

  • Sabres hire Housely as head coach

Sabres hire Housely as head coach

Housley, 53, spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, focusing on the team's defence.

During his career, Housley played in seven All-Star Games. This will be his first head coaching job in the National Hockey League. "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".

Starting in 2004, Housley spent nine seasons coaching Stillwater Area High School in his native Minnesota.

It's unbelievable how quick Housley has climbed the coaching ranks. "When he talks, all that matters to me is what is coming out of his mouth".

While coaching there, Housley accepted a number of opportunities to coach for Team USA. That didn't seem to bother his former players in Nashville, who credit Housley with shaping them on and off the ice.

He also had a connection to Botterill from their playing days. Dan Bylsma was billed as a players' coach. But something about this was different. He also was the head coach when Team USA won gold at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship and was an assistant for Team USA at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

At the end of the day, it's a pretty natural fit.

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.

That his lack of head coaching experience should have been no more a hindrance to his hiring than new GM Jason Botterill.