Phil Housley Out As Coach of the Sabres
Two years and out. Phil Housley has been fired as coach of the Buffalo Sabres. General Manager Jason Botterill informed Housley of his decision Sunday morning and met with the media Sunday afternoon.
The Sabres finished last in the league last year and only 27th overall this season. In his two years in Buffalo, Housley's record was 58-84-22.
Botterill says the decision was strictly his. He says he spoke with team owners Terry and Kim Pagula, informed them of his decision and they agreed.
That's a huge about face from less than two months ago when he was asked point blank if Housley's job was safe. Botterill seemed stunned that the question was asked.
Although the Sabres finished strong with a pair of wins, it was hardly enough to offset the horrible performances the Sabres have put in over the past couple of months.
Additionally there was talk around the arena that some of the players despised playing for Housley, specifically Rasmus Ristolainen and Zach Bogosian.
So what's the next coach for the Sabres? I wouldn't be surprised if Botterill brings up Chris Taylor from Rochester who's had success with coaching the Americans where he's led the team to the Calder Cup Playoffs the past two seasons. It's a model that the Pittsburgh Penguins have used over the years, moving American Hockey League coaches up to coach the big club and they've had success with it.