Friday, October 30, 2009
Phil Housley is one of the rare NHL players who never played a single game in the minors. He was drafted 6th overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft out of South St. Paul High School by the Buffalo Sabres.
He was a model of dependability for Buffalo, playing no less than 72 games, scoring a minimum of 15 goals, with a high of 31 in 1983-84, and totaling between 62 and 81 points for each of his eight seasons with the Sabres.
He was sent to the Winnipeg Jets in a deal that saw Dale Hawerchuk go to Buffalo and spent three seasons in Winnipeg cranking out the exact same kind of numbers he had for the Sabres. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues for the 1993-94 season, but his time there was brief, appearing in only 26 games in St. Louis before once more being traded, this time to the Calgary Flames, who would then send him to the New Jersey Devils in 1995-96.
He then signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals for the 1996-97 season, in which he would play in his 1000th game on this date in 1996. Housley would go on to set the unfortunate record of playing the most games in history without ever winning the Stanley Cup with 1,495. The closest Housley came to winning the cap was the following season with the Capitals when they made the 1998 finals.
He made a return to Calgary for the next three seasons followed by two as a Chicago Blackhawk who traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, his eight and final team, where he would play in just a single regular season game and three playoff games to end his 21 year career.
Internationally, he played for the United States in the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cups, the World Championships in 1982, 1986, 1989, 2000, 2001 and 2003 and captured a gold medal in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
When Housley retired in 2003, he held the record for most games played by an American, as well as the record for most career points by an American, no mean feat considering he spent the majority of his career playing defense, although he did skate at forward as well. His final statistical totals were 1495 games played, 338 goals and 894 assists for 1232 points.
He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in 2007 and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.
Today's featured jersey is a game worn CCM 1983-84 Buffalo Sabres Phil Housley jersey in the Sabres classic blue and yellow colors. It sold at auction for $1,026 in February of 2009.
Here is the rock solid Housely absorbing a blow from Sergei Fedorov and quickly skating away while Fedorov is shaken by the collision.
Here Housely plays for the United States in the 1984 Canada Cup versus Dominik Hasek and Czechoslovakia and gets an assist with a blast from the point.
Once more Housely gets an assist with a blast from the point versus Hasek, only this time while playing for the Capitals and wearing the unfamiliar #96.