Sabres hire Phil Housley as Head Coach

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Housley, 53, spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, focusing on the team's defence. He'll be the 18th head coach in the history of the franchise. "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". Led by the best group of defensemen in the league, a unit Housley coached, the Preds made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final as the eighth and final team to make the playoffs from the Western Conference.

The Minnesota native started his coaching career with Stillwater Area High School in 2004.

Throughout his time with USA Hockey, Housley has served as an assistant coach at two IIHF World Junior Championships and three IIHF World Championships. Now, he's one of 31 head coaches in the National Hockey League. That didn't seem to bother his former players in Nashville, who credit Housley with shaping them on and off the ice.

His temperament created a sense of fun as an assistant with the Nashville Predators, and connected him on a personal level with players. Rarely do players say anything that isn't positive about their coaches.

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As a coach, the 53-year-old spent 2004 to 2013 at the high school level and then jumped to the worldwide stage as he took team U.S. to a goal medal in the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

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

Housley is a Hockey Hall of Famer and a former Sabres defenseman.

The Buffalo Sabres have officially ended their search for a new head coach.

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