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Phil Housley | Defenseman

Team: Buffalo Sabres
Age / DOB:  (54) / 3/9/1964
Ht / Wt:  5'10" / 188
Drafted: 1982 / Rd. 1 (6) / BUF
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Sabres owner Kim Pegula is encouraged by what she saw out of coach Phil Housley and GM Jason Botterill in their first year on the job.
It was a bad season for the Sabres as they finished with a 25-45-12 record, but Pegula believes that they're building the team the right way. "I really was encouraged and really liked the thought process, the internal planning that Jason has for this team, as well as Phil. They’re learning every day. They were a first-time GM, a first-time coach, so there was a learning curve, a learning process over the last year. And all the discussions that we’ve had with them after the season, we’re really encouraged that we’re going to be moving forward and the foundation is being laid and that they’re going to be a huge building block for us in the coming years," Pegula said. The Sabres rebuild should receive a boost by them getting the first overall pick, which will likely be used to take Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. Having Dahlin and Jack Eichel leading the Sabres for years to come has to be an exciting prospect for Buffalo. May 25 - 8:39 AM

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Sabres GM Jason Botterill didn't want to reveal who he'll take with the first overall pick.

"Well, we want everybody to show up in Dallas, so we'll keep that and we'll go through our interview process," Botterill said. That said, it would obviously be a shock if the Sabres took anyone other than Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. He's the consensus top pick going into the 2018 draft and the idea of having the team led by a blueliner like that while their forward core is headlined by Jack Eichel has to be very appealing. Buffalo's future certainly looks a lot brighter after winning the draft lottery.
Apr 29 - 7:01 AM

The Buffalo Sabres have won the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery.

The Sabres went into the lottery with the greatest odds of coming away with the first pick and that's exactly what happened. They'll now have the right to draft Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, who has the potential to develop into a franchise defender. The 18-year-old is expected to make the jump from the Swedish League to the NHL starting next season. He had seven goals and 20 points in 41 games with Frolunda HC. The Carolina Hurricanes own the second overall pick, while the Montreal Canadiens will be drafting third.
Apr 28 - 10:24 PM

Buffalo has locked up the 31st overall spot following Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Ottawa.

This marks the third time in five years that the Sabres will finish last in the NHL. Buffalo will have an 18.5 percent chance of winning the first overall pick at the Draft Lottery. Of course, they could also fall as low as fourth if the balls don't bounce in their favor on April 28.
Apr 5 - 9:45 AM

Buffalo has struggled to score goals again this season.

The Sabres have registered an NHL-low 99 goals this year and are on pace to score 184. Over the last five seasons, Buffalo's 800 goals are 62 fewer than any other NHL team. The team also ranks last overall in 5-on-5 goals (518) during that span. It doesn't help that Buffalo has permitted 3.41 goals against per contest, which is fewer than just three other clubs.
Jan 15 - 10:11 AM

The Buffalo Sabres' scoring drought lasted 232:09 minutes.

After being shutout of three consecutive games, Jason Pominville finally ended the goal drought at 11:18 minutes of the third period. It proved to be moot in the context of that game though as the Sabres still lost 5-1. Buffalo has now fallen to 6-17-4 this season. This season has been a disaster for Buffalo, but at least the Sabres have one slump behind them.
Sun, Dec 3, 2017 09:09:00 AM

The Buffalo Sabres set a new franchise record by being shut out in a third consecutive game.

Obviously, those aren't the franchise records you want to be setting. Buffalo hasn't found the back of the net in 180 minutes and 53 seconds. "It's quite embarrassing," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "Our coaching staff comes up with a game plan and I just don't think we're executing our game plan. Obviously we go into Montreal and we're up against a good goaltender. Vasilevskiy is one of the best goaltenders in the league but in playing a backup goaltender, I didn't think we took advantage of that tonight. We came close but you can't give a good team like that two goals to start the game. They're going to lock that in. You saw today that even though we had some fight in the third period. But the bottom line it is embarrassing."
Sat, Dec 2, 2017 11:44:00 AM

Phil Housley wasn't thrilled about his team's effort in a 3-1 loss to Detroit on Friday night.

"We've got to be smarter," Housley said. "We just got outbattled, outworked and outcompeted tonight. At times we even looked slow and I don't know why that is. We played one game in six nights. It's disappointing." The Sabres currently own the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 5-10-4.
Sat, Nov 18, 2017 11:38:00 AM

The Buffalo Sabres have been held to just a goal in eight of their last eight games.

The Sabres' struggles to score has been an ongoing issue as they've averaged just 2.35 goals per game this season. That's a big part of the reason they're just 5-9-3 so far. The Sabres' offensive weakness has largely come from its lack of depth. Evander Kane, Jack Eichel, Jason Pominville, Ryan O'Reilly, and Benoit Pouliot are the only players on the team with more than two goals and only 11 players have found the back of the net. The five players mentioned also have accounted for a staggering 75% of the Sabres' total goals.
Sun, Nov 12, 2017 06:21:00 AM

Sabres coach Phil Housley was pushing an upbeat message after Buffalo's 5-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

"It's easy to be negative right now, but I thought we played good," Housley said. "It was just unfortunate we got bad bounces against us. When I evaluate the game, I think we played well. The score tells you differently, and there's probably going to be a lot of people that disagree with me, but I think we got the start we wanted. There was some bad bounces that occurred. Yeah, could we have better coverage? Could we have made better decisions through the neutral zone? But that wasn't the case in my opinion." At the end of the day though, Buffalo is still 4-8-2 this season. The Sabres have a bit of a breather now, but then they'll play Washington on Tuesday. That will be a tough match for them, but they need to start digging out of the hole they created for themselves.
Sun, Nov 5, 2017 09:38:00 AM

Buffalo has no more games this month, which might be just as well given how bad the Sabres have been in recent Octobers.

Buffalo finished the month with a 3-7-2 record, which is basically par for the course. The Sabres have a 14-37-6 October record dating back to 2013 and haven't had a positive October record since 2011. Of course the Sabres also haven't made the playoffs since 2010-11, so recent trends are not their friend. So far this is looking like another rebuilding campaign for Buffalo, which is not what the Sabres were going for this season, especially after replacing their coach and general manager. Perhaps the Sabres will start to turn things around in November though.
Sun, Oct 29, 2017 04:48:00 AM

The Buffalo Sabres' power play has been a disaster so far.

The Sabres rank 22nd in the league with a 15.6% conversion rate with the man advantage, but an even bigger part of the problem has been shorthanded goals allowed. Buffalo has surrendered a league-high six shorthanded markers, which means that with five power-play goals, they've actually seen a net negative in that aspect of the game. Only Buffalo and the New York Islanders are negative on the power play at this point in the season. "Better, quick puck movement," Sabres coach Phil Housley in regards to how to address their power-play issues. "We're holding onto it, which is giving other teams on the penalty kill an opportunity to get in position. We have to move the puck quicker whether it's low to high or it's high to low. It's got to be done quicker. We have to have more urgency in that area because we hold onto it, they get a stick on it, now they get two guys, now we're in a battle. We shouldn't be in that position if we just move it quickly."
Tue, Oct 24, 2017 04:48:00 AM

Buffalo has had issues on the power play in the first two games of the season.

The Sabres had the most efficient power play in the league last season, but it is currently 1-for-9 in 2017-18 and they have surrendered three shorthanded goals. The good news is that the penalty kill hasn't allowed a goal on seven chances by the opposition and they have two shorthanded markers of their own.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 03:17:00 PM

Chris Hajt will join the Buffalo Sabres as an assistant coach.

Hajt is coming off of three seasons as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings' AHL affiliate. He helped AHL Manchester win the Calder Cup in 2014-15. Before that he was an assistant coach with the OHL's Guelph Storm from 2008-14. He's also the son of Bill Hajt, who spent his full 854-game NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres.
Mon, Jul 17, 2017 01:27:00 PM

The Buffalo Sabres have named Ryan Jankowski as their director of amateur scouting.

Jankowski is coming over to the Sabres after spending four seasons with Hockey Canada where he rose to the rank of director of player personnel. He also has three seasons as an amateur scout with the Montreal Canadiens and four years as an assistant general manager with the New York Islanders on his resume.
Source: NHL.com
Sun, Jul 9, 2017 06:01:00 PM

Depth Charts

All Positions
PosRoleName
C1Jack Eichel
2Ryan O'Reilly
3Sam Reinhart
4Evan Rodrigues
5Johan Larsson
LW1Benoit Pouliot
2Zemgus Girgensons
3Jordan Nolan
4Scott Wilson
RW1Kyle Okposo
2Jason Pominville
3Justin Bailey
D1Rasmus Ristolainen
2Marco Scandella
3Zach Bogosian
4Nathan Beaulieu
5Jake McCabe
6Josh Gorges
7Victor Antipin
8Justin Falk
G1Robin Lehner
2Chad Johnson