ST. PAUL, Minn. — Phil Housley’s success with the Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championships has helped him land back in the NHL.
Housley, the highest-scoring, American-born defenseman in NHL history, has been named an assistant coach for the Nashville Predators, the team announced Tuesday. Housley, who led the United States to a gold medal at the World Junior Championships earlier this year, has spent the past nine seasons coaching the boys’ hockey program at Stillwater High School in Minnesota.
The Predators reportedly fired associate coach Peter Horacheck earlier this week after nine seasons with the franchise. Nashville general manager David Poile added Housley, who played 21 NHL seasons with eight different teams and is the fourth-leading scorer among defensemen in NHL history with 1,232 points (338 goals, 894 assists).
“Phil brings a unique skill set to our coaching staff,” Poile said in a release. “He was one of the most talented offensive defensemen to play in the NHL, and he has worked extensively with young players during his coaching career. He will continue to focus his efforts on our young defensemen and assisting on the power play.”
Housley, 49, was also an assistant coach for the United States at the 2013 World Championships, where the United States won a bronze medal for the first time in nine years. He also was an assistant coach on junior teams for the United States, which won bronze medals in 2007 and 2011 at the world juniors.
Housley, a native of South St. Paul, Minn., was a seven-time NHL all-star and was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and the IIHF, the governing body for the game internationally, in 2012. Housley, who started his career in the NHL as an 18-year-old in in 1983 when he scored 66 points and finished second in the Calder Trophy voting, was a seven-time member of the U.S. National team and on the silver-medal winning team in the 2002 Olympics.
“A coach with history as a defenseman who was offensively gifted and excelled on the power play is something we have never had on our coaching staff,” Predators head coach Barry Trotz said in a release. “His insight and viewpoint will bring a fresh perspective to our team.”