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Buffalo Sabres announce firing of head coach Phil Housley

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Former Buffalo defenseman relieved of duties after two seasons.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours after the final horn sounded on the 2018-19 season, the Buffalo Sabres have cut ties with head coach Phil Housley. The former Sabres defenseman’s two-year tenure ended with the team’s first back-to-back set if wins in months.

Housley ended his tenure behind the Sabres bench with a combined 58-84-22 record.

While his first season ended as the Sabres might not have hoped, finishing in last place gave them the opportunity to draft phenom Rasmus Dahlin. Housley’s second year has been mired in mediocrity, much to the dismay of ownership, management, and fans alike.

Individual excellence from players like Dahlin, Jeff Skinner, Sam Reinhart, and captain Jack Eichel were not enough to save the team from itself. Housley’s persistent issues in the defensive zone were the Sabres’ undoing in a season thay can only be described as subpar.

Today’s announcement came on the heels of Bob Boughner’s termination from the Florida Panthers.

The Sabres begin their search for a sixth head coach since 2013, which is reflective of the teams failure to restore consistency to the lockerroom and to their in-game performances.

There are, of course, some big names available for hire - coaches with Stanley Cup experince, like Joel Quennville. It will be up to general manager Jason Botterill to decide who will be the right fit for this talented, but very young, team.