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Housley joins Coyotes as assistant

Hall of Fame defenseman spent past two seasons coaching Sabres @NHLdotcom

Phil Housley signed a multiyear contract as an assistant with the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday.

Housley spent the past two seasons as coach of the Buffalo Sabres before being fired on April 7, after the Sabres finished 33-39-10 and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. He was 58-84-22 with Buffalo after being hired on June 15, 2017.

"Phil is a great addition to our coaching staff," general manager John Chayka said. "His experience as a player, combined with his success overseeing defensive units, make him a perfect fit for this job. We're all excited to work with him and leverage his knowledge of the game to make us better."

The 55-year-old was an assistant with the Nashville Predators for four seasons before being hired by the Sabres and was credited with building a skilled, speedy group of defensemen which helped Nashville advance to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, the first for the Predators since entering the NHL in 1998.

"I'm very pleased to add Phil to our coaching staff," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "Phil is a tremendous coach and his experience and knowledge of the game will be invaluable to our defensemen."

Housley, who was selected by Buffalo with the No. 6 pick in the 1982 NHL Draft, played the first eight of his 21 NHL seasons for the Sabres. He retired after the 2002-03 season with 1,232 points (338 goals, 894 assists) in 1,495 games; he is second in points in NHL history among United States-born players and fourth overall among defensemen. Housley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

He spent nine years as a high school coach in Minnesota and coached the gold medal-winning United States team at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship before joining the Predators.

"I would like to thank John Chayka and Rick Tocchet for this opportunity to join the Coyotes organization," Housley said. "I played with Rick and [assistant] John MacLean, and I look forward to working with them and a fantastic coaching staff. I'm very passionate about developing young players and winning, and I look forward to coaching a very talented defensive corps."

The Coyotes (39-35-8) finished four points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference this season and have not advanced to the postseason since 2012. They allowed 220 goals, tied with the St. Louis Blues for the fifth-fewest in the NHL.

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