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Housley Throws Out First Pitch at Twins Game

by Mike G. Morreale / Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators assistant coach and retired NHL defenseman Phil Housley, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game between the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Housley, a native of St. Paul, Minn., was joined at the game by his family. He said he always dreamed of one day throwing out the opening pitch to a Major League Baseball game.

"I threw fire right over the plate," Housley told "It was really pretty special. It was really nice of the Twins to do that for me and my family; it's a night I'll never forget."

The Twins defeated the Rangers, 3-2.

Housley, 51, will be inducted during a ceremony on Nov. 9 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He will join Detroit Red Wings teammates Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov; defenseman Chris Pronger; four-time U.S. Olympian Angela Ruggiero; Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr.; and retired NHL player and executive Bill Hay.

After four seasons at South St. Paul High School, Housley joined the Buffalo Sabres, who selected him No. 6 in the 1982 NHL Draft. He finished his first season as runner-up for the Calder Trophy as the League's best rookie in 1983, scoring 19 goals and 47 assists.

The seven-time NHL All-Star played 21 seasons with the Sabres, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Housley retired in January 2004 with 338 goals, 894 assists and 1,232 points in 1,495 regular-season games. He was the highest-scoring American-born player until Mike Modano passed him on Nov. 7, 2007. Modano ended his career with 1,374 points in 1,499 regular-season games and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last year.

Housley represented the United States in 10 international events, including six world championships, two Canada Cup tournaments and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and coached the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sochi, Russia.

Housley has served as an assistant coach in Nashville the past two seasons.

Author: Mike G. Morreale | Staff Writer | Photo credit: Karin Housley

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