Housley Named World Junior Coach
CHN Staff Report
For the first time since 2003, Team USA's head coach at the World Junior championships will not be someone with college hockey ties.
Long-time NHL defenseman and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Housley has been named the team's head coach for the 2013 tournament. It is Housley's first stint as the head coach of a U.S. National Team after serving as an assistant coach for the 2007 (bronze) and 2011 (bronze) teams, and 2011 U.S. Men's National Team.
"I'm honored to be asked to coach this team and look forward to the challenge," said Housley. "The depth of our player pool is as good as it has ever been and I'm sure it will be a challenge to settle on which players will represent our country in Ufa."
The U.S. National Junior Team will take part in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2012 - Jan. 5, 2013 in Ufa, Russia. The U.S. is seeking its third medal in four years, having won the gold medal in 2010 and the bronze medal in 2011.
Last season, coached by Nebraska-Omaha's Dean Blais, the team finished a disappointing seventh. Blais was also the coach in 2010 when Team USA won a gold medal. Lou Vairo coached Team USA in 2003, the last person without college hockey ties to do so.
In 2011-12 Housley completed his eighth season as the head coach of the Stillwater (Minn.) High School boys' ice hockey team.
As a player, Housley represented his country at 11 international tournaments. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. Following his USA Hockey debut as a member of the 1982 U.S. Junior National Team, Housley went on to play for seven U.S. Men's National Teams (1982, 1986, 1989, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003). In 2002 he received a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Additionally, he won gold with Team USA at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Housley spent 21 seasons in the National Hockey League. A first-round draft pick (sixth overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in 1982, he spent the first eight years (1982-90) of his career there and, in 2007, was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. Housley also spent time with the Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs. He concluded his career with 1,232 points (338-894), the most by an American-born defenseman.
Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki and Minnesota assistant Grant Potulny will serve as the assistant coaches of the World Junior team. Osiecki and Housley served as assistant coaches for the 2011 team. Osiecki was also an assistant coach for the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team that won the gold medal. Potulny is making his Team USA coaching debut.
The USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp will take place Aug. 4-11 in Lake Placid, N.Y. Joining Housley, Osiecki and Potulny on the camp staff are Minnesota head coach Don Lucia; Tony Granato, assistant coach for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and former Wisconsin player; and Greg Brown, assistant coach at Boston College.