By John Vogl
Phil Housley was ready to make the jump to the NHL coaching ranks. It was just a matter of which team would hire him.
Nashville did today.
The Predators have hired the former Sabres defenseman and USA Hockey coach as an assistant for Barry Trotz.
"Phil brings a unique skill set to our coaching staff,” Predators General Manager David Poile said. “He was one of the most talented offensive defensemen to play in the NHL, and he has worked extensively with young players during his coaching career. He will continue to focus his efforts on our young defensemen and assisting on the power play."
The Sabres were the youngest team in the NHL at times last season and had the 29th-ranked power play. Ron Rolston has known Housley through USA Hockey since at least 2007, leading to speculation the new Buffalo coach would add Housley to his staff.
Rolston said two weeks ago that it would take about seven days to complete the hiring process. It's still incomplete, and it won't include Housley.
"A coach with history as a defenseman who was offensively gifted and excelled on the power play is something we have never had on our coaching staff,” Trotz said. “His insight and viewpoint will bring a fresh perspective to our team.”
taggedRon Rolston | Sabres coaching