Sabres name Hall of Famer Phil Housley head coach

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Sabres name Hall of Famer Phil Housley head coach

A familiar face will be returning as the Sabres head coach next season.

Buffalo has hired Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Housley as its 18th coach in franchise history, the team announced Thursday.

"Based on his experience as a player and coach, we think Phil is uniquely qualified to be our head coach and to help us achieve our organizational goals," Sabres GM Jason Botterill said in a team release.

"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 in the future."

Housley, 53, spent the last four years as an assistant with the Predators and was instrumental in their Stanley Cup Final run this season. 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.

He was drafted sixth overall by the Sabres in 1982 and spent the first eight of his 21 seasons as a player in Buffalo. He also was on the 1996 U.S. team that won gold at the World Cup of Hockey and won silver with the U.S. Olympic team at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

His 1,232 career points (338+894) rank third among American players and fourth among defensemen all-time

He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.