The unexpected, meteoric of the Buffalo Sabres in November had the city’s hockey fans bracing for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance since 2011. Four months later, they will now await word on whom Kim and Terry Pegula will choose to be the latest person to attempt to break the organization’s cycle of losing.
Phil Housley, the Hall of Fame defenseman who took over as the franchise’s 18th coach less than two years ago, was fired Sunday after a 33-win season in which the Sabres teased fans with a 10-game winning streak, only to finish 27th in the NHL.
The 55-year-old went 58-84-22 during his two seasons, both of which ended with Buffalo receiving a lottery draft pick. He joined Dan Bylsma, who hoisted the Stanley Cup as coach of Pittsburgh in 2009, and Ted Nolan as coaches dismissed by the Pegulas after only two seasons.
General Manager Jason Botterill will address the media during a news conference at 4:30 p.m.
Housley had a worse record than Bylsma and arguably endured a more tumultuous tenure. The Sabres finished with a league-worst 25 wins during Housley’s first season, which led to them winning the right to draft defenseman Rasmus Dahlin first overall in June.