The last NHL coaching vacancy was filled on Thursday as the Buffalo Sabres hired Hall of Famer and former Capital Phil Housley. The move was first reported by Darren Dreger of TSN and made official by the Buffalo Sabres.

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Housley has been an assistant coach for the Nashville Predators the last four seasons, helping to lead them to the first conference championship in franchise history this year. He also is a Hall of Fame player as a defenseman after a career that spanned from 1982 to 2003. Two of those seasons came in Washington from 1996 to 1998 where he registered 17 goals and 71 points in 141 games. The vast majority of his playing career he spent in Buffalo where he now prepares to take over.

The move also has implications for the Caps' current coaching staff as it means associate coach Todd Reirden has once again missed an opportunity to become an NHL head coach. Reirden has not been shy about his desire to take over his own team, but is now likely to return to Washington where he coaches the team's defense under head coach Barry Trotz.

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