Phillip Francis Housley (March 9, 1964-) was one of the great offensive defensman from the 1980s and 1990s, like Paul Coffey, Larry Robinson, Brian Leetch Scott Neidermeyer and Al McInnis, who helped redefine the position and giving teams a potent threat at the point, especially during power plays. The Minnesota native starred for his St. Paul high school squad before being recruited to play for the United States Junior National team and then men’s team. The Buffalo Sabres then took Phil with the 6th overall pick of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft and he made an immediate impact on the Sabres lineup. In his first season in the NHL, Housley scored 19 goals, 11 of which were on the power play, and added 47 assists for 66 points to finish second to Chicago Blackhawks Steve Larmer in Calder Trophy voting as rookie of the year. In his sophomore season (1983-84), Housley upped the ante with 31 goals and 77 points to earn his first of seven trips to the NHL All-Star Game. For his first 11 years in the league, Phil had better than 60 points each year and scored double-digit goals every year with a career-high 31 in 1983-84. Though injuries slowed the blueliner after a decade in the NHL, he remained among the most feared snipers from the point and was highly sought after throughout his career. Housley played for the Buffalo Sabres (1982-1990), the Winnipeg Jets (1990-1993), the St. Louis Blues (1993-1994), the Calgary Flames (1994-1996, 1998-2001), the New Jersey Devils (1996), the Washington Capitals (1996-1998), the Chicago Blackhawks (2001-2003) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (2003). His closest sniff of an NHL championship came in 1998 when he helped lead the Capitals to the Stanley Cup finals against the Detroit Red Wings, but the Caps fell in six games. He was a regular candidate for the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman and Lady Byng for his sportsmanlike conduct. At the time of his retirement, Phil Housley held the record for most points by an American-born player with 1,232 points– 338 goals and 894 assists – until Mike Modano broke it in 2007. His 1,495 games played were also tops among American players until Chris Chelios surpassed him in 2006. Phil Housley was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. He was a frequent member of the United States National team and helped lead them to a silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. Following his playing career, he coached the United States Junior Team to a gold medal at the 2013 World Juniors Ice Hockey Championships in Russia.
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