Monday night, Phil Housley will receive the ultimate recognition for an outstanding hockey career. He’ll be one of seven new inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Housley played 21 seasons in the NHL and wrapped up his career as the highest-scoring American-born player in League history (he’s since been surpassed by Mike Modano). The defenseman totaled 338 goals and 894 assists for 1,232 points.
Drafted sixth overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1982, Housley entered the League in his first year at 18 and put up 66 points (19+47) in his rookie campaign. He scored 31 goals in his sophomore season and put up 81 points in his last full season with the club in 1989-90.
In seven seasons with Buffalo, Housley set the Sabres record for all-time points by a defenseman (558), which ranks fifth on the franchise's all-time list. He also ranks fourth all-time in assists by a Sabre (380) and set single season records for assists (60) and points (81) by a defenseman.
On Dec. 23, 1989, he recorded five points (1+4) in a 6-5 win over the Quebec Nordiques, tying John Van Boxmeer for most points in a game by a Sabres defenseman.
Housley was traded to Winnipeg in a blockbuster deal that saw him, Scott Arniel, Jeff Parker and a first-round pick swapped for Dale Hawerchuk and a first-round pick following the 1989-90 season. He also played for St. Louis, Calgary, New Jersey, Washington, Chicago, and Toronto before retiring in 2003 as a six-time NHL All-Star.
He represented his country well as a seven-time member of the U.S. National Team. Housley won a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (Class of 2004).
He was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame Class of 2007 and in 2008, he was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for his contributions to ice hockey in the United States.
The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015 also includes Sergei Fedorov, Nickas Listrom, Chris Pronger, Angela Ruggerio, Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos Jr.
“I can’t tell you how shocked, excited and extremely proud I am of being able to enter with all these great players and this year’s class,” Housley said after the announcement was made in June.
“I’ve been patiently waiting, and there have been so many great players before me to be inducted, and to finally get that call, it’s still surreal. It’s a shock, there are a lot of emotions that I can’t describe, but I tell you, it’s something that I’m very excited about.”
His reaction to receiving the news also made some shockwaves on social media.
Housley is currently an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators and will be back in town on Nov. 25 when the Sabres host the Predators at First Niagara Center.