The Buffalo Sabres have fired coach Phil Housley following two underperforming seasons, and after the team extended its franchise-worst playoff drought to an eighth consecutive year.
The team made the move Sunday, a day after the Sabres closed their season with a 7-1 win at Detroit. The Sabres finished 13th in the Eastern Conference standings and joined the 2016-17 Philadelphia Flyers in becoming the second of 50 NHL teams to miss the playoffs in the same season in which they won at least 10 straight games.
The 55-year-old Housley is a Hall of Fame defenseman who spent his first eight NHL seasons playing in Buffalo but failed to restore any semblance of success to a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff round since reaching the East finals in 2007.
Housley’s firing comes after the Sabres endured a lengthy collapse over the final four months.
They went 2-7-1 in their final 10 games and were 16-33-8 since enjoying a franchise-record-matching 10-game winning streak that ended in late November.