Recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and Nashville Predators Assistant Coach Phil Housley will be joining Team USA as an assistant coach for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, to be held later this year in Toronto.
The Saint Paul, Minn., native has had a long history representing the United States in international competition, including claiming a Silver Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, skating in the World Championships six times and coaching the Americans to Gold in 2013 at the World Junior Championships. For Housley, competing with the red, white and blue has always held an extra amount of significance.
“Any time you get a chance to represent your country, whether I was playing or now coaching, it’s a great opportunity,” Housley said. “You look forward to the challenge, and especially working with the coaching staff that I’ll be a part of, I’m really excited about that. Also with the players, working with the best players that USA has to offer is going to be great experience.”
Housley will join Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella, who will take on the same role with Team USA, this fall, along with assistant coaches, Jack Capuano, Scott Gordon, Mike Sullivan and John Hynes.
“It’s one thing when you’re a young coach coming into the World Cup, and you get to see what other teams are going to bring and what the U.S. is going to bring,” Housley said. “It’ll just be a great experience.”
With the Predators, Housley has molded Nashville’s defensive corps into one of the NHL’s stingiest and most offensively mobile blue lines over the last three campaigns. Expecting Housley to take a similar focus and responsibility with Team USA for the World Cup seems reasonable to assume.
“For young guys, helping a guy on the bench, especially for a defenseman who played the game that long and that well, it’s huge,” Josi said of Housley earlier this season. “He’s talking to us a lot, he helps us out with little things, things he sees, things he did in his game, and it’s been great for us to have him here.”
“Whether you have a good game or bad game, he’s there to talk you through it,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said. “To have him come in, and especially having the young D corps a couple years ago, he really brought us up to speed quickly. He’s someone that knows the game as well as he does, it definitely helped us develop.”