Sabres get their Phil back
Phil Housley still remembers high-fiving Sabres fans at Memorial Auditorium in opening his hall of fame career in Buffalo during the 1980s.
Now, Housley is looking forward to bringing that type of excitement back to Buffalo — this time as the Sabres head coach.
Some 35 years to the day since the then-18year-old was selected by the Sabres with the No. 6 pick in the NHL draft, Housley is being asked to instil relevance to a franchise coming off its latest off-season house-cleaning.
“Looking back, I didn’t realize how passionate the people are here,” Housley said during his introductory news conference. “And I’d like to get that passion back as a head coach.”
Housley takes over as a firsttime NHL head coach in replacing Dan Bylsma, who was fired along with general manager Tim Murray in April after Buffalo extended its franchise worst playoff drought to six years. And Housley was hired by another new-comer, general manager Jason Botterill.
Though Housley’s ties to Buffalo were hard to overlook, Botterill was more impressed by the work he did over the past four seasons as a Nashville Predators assistant.