Phil Housley USA Hockey

Preds hire Phil Housley as assistant coach

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It didn’t take long for Nashville to find a replacement for Peter Horachek.

On Tuesday, the club announced the hiring of Phil Housley as its new assistant coach.

Housley will replace Horachek — who was fired on Monday — on Barry Trotz’s staff, and work alongside fellow assistant Lane Lambert.

“Phil brings a unique skill set to our coaching staff,” Preds GM David Poile said. “He was one of the most talented offensive defensemen to play in the NHL, and he has worked extensively with young players during his coaching career.

“He will continue to focus his efforts on our young defensemen and assisting on the power play.”

Housley ranks fourth all-time among NHL defensemen in points (1,232) and has achieved great success in his short head coaching career. He led Team USA to gold at the 2013 World Juniors, and served as an assistant to Joe Sacco at the ’13 World Championships, where the Americans captured bronze.

Housley will have plenty of quality young defensive prospects to work with in Nashville.

Chief among them is Ryan Ellis, the 11th overall pick in 2009 that, like Housley, is a diminutive offensive blueliner.

He’ll also get to work with Swiss star Roman Josi — who won tournament MVP at the Worlds — and Jonathan Blum, the club’s first-round selection in 2007.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.