The Florida Panthers are currently waiting on the playoffs to finish. Phil Housley and the Nashville Predators are currently up against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Dale Tallon will have to wait until the finals is over to interview Phil.
Phil Housley would honestly be the perfect fit for head coach in my opinion. Just look at the way he’s developed Nashville’s defense during his time there. When you take a look at our d-core, we have a lot of depth and talent. We need someone who can stress the importance of balanced two-way hockey. Housley can do that.
Phil has been the assistant coach for the Nashville Predators for 4 years now. Teams are starting to recognize his coaching capabilities, which in result will lead towards a tug and war contest for his services. Florida isn’t the only team interested in his services either. The Sabres are in the mix.
As we know, Phil spent a good chunk of his career with the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres have reached out to the Preds in regards to interviewing Phil. The Cats will need to amaze Housley come interview time. Because if they don’t, they may well just lose out on him.
As I mentioned earlier, I truly believe that Housley can seriously reshape our defense and turn them into solid defenders. Phil often emphasizes “awareness” to his defense, who know went to jump up in the play or stay back when needed. Take a look at Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm. Each one of those 3 defenseman were nurtured and taken under Phil’s wings. The end product? All three of those defenseman can move the puck forward while providing an outlet for their teammates. All of them are also aggressive while defending allowing no prisoners once the puck passes the neutral zone.
This is the type of coaching style we need. We have a lot of great puck movers and young defenseman who can offer a lot offensively. What we need though is tighter defending in our own zone. Once you address that, the rest will simply take care of itself. Just imagine Housley working with Ekblad and Matheson. He would no doubt bring the best out of those two. Especially Ekblad, who has a ceiling as high as the sky.
Even though Phil was a defenseman during his career, I am still sure that he can nurture and develop our young forwards. With guys like Barkov and Huberdeau itching to take the next step, Housley will have the opportunity to make the most out of those two. It seems Phil is quite good with nurturing and developing young players. It shouldn’t be hard when you have young eager players such as Huby and Barkov who are willing to learn and listen.
Overall, we need a coach who can grow with the team while getting the most out of each player on the roster. Phil has shown how well he develops young defenseman, as they turn out as solid two-way d-men. On the flip side, while he doesn’t have a lot to offer for our forwards, it shouldn’t be too hard installing a system that works for everyone upfront.