Former Sabre Phil Housley headed to Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its class of 2015, and the quintet contains one former Sabre, Phil Housley.

A Phil Housley Jets card, early in his tenure with the team.
A Phil Housley Jets card, early in his tenure with the team.

Housley was selected by the Buffalo Sabres sixth overall in the 1982 draft, and went on to play in Buffalo for eight seasons before being traded to Winnipeg. From there, he made his way around the NHL, as he went on to play for the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Housley, who appeared in 608 games with Buffalo, tallied 178 goals and 380 assists as a Sabre. This includes 27 postseason points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 35 playoff games with the Sabres.

The seven-time All-Star tallied career totals of 338 goals and 894 assists in his 21 seasons in the league. His career total of 1,495 games is the highest number of games anyone has played without winning the Stanley Cup.

Although he was used as a forward for a short time in his early days, Housley is remembered predominantly as a defenseman. His 1,232 career points ranks second among American-born defenseman, and fourth among all defenseman in league history.

Housley also represented the United States at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake — where the U.S. won silver — and at two Canada Cups.

Housley ended his playing career in 2003, and has waited ever since then for the call to the Hall. Now, 12 years later, the wait is finally over.

“The players who went in before me are really great players who deserve to be in there,” he said, per, “but you always have a little doubt because it has been such a long period now,” Housley said. “You sort of come to this point every summer and see who gets elected, but I can forget all those years in the past now because I’m actually going in.”

Now, he can put the 12 years of waiting behind him.

“I am absolutely elated to be entering the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2015,” Housley said, according to Buffalo News.
“One glance at the legends who have already been enshrined proves that this really is the ultimate (honor) for a hockey player.”

Also joining Housley in this year’s class are former Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov, long-time stand-out defenseman Chris Pronger, former Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman Bill Hay, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, Jr. and Angela Ruggiero, one of the faces of women’s hockey.