Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Had a great time here'

Ex-Jet Housley remembers close-knit squad in return to city

  • Print

Phil HOUSLEY knew exactly what he wanted when he landed here Thursday -- a slice of pizza from a Winnipeg institution.

"My wife and kids drove up from Minnesota last night and we're going to Mona Lisa for lunch after the skate," Housley said Friday morning, before his Nashville Predators faced the Jets.

"It's still there, I hope. We drove by our old house last night. We built it in Tuxedo. We drove by Randy Carlyle's old house. We had a great time here. So many great memories. Our team was good, we did some good things. But most of all it was a close group. We did so much together."

Housley is now an assistant coach with the Predators running the defence and power play. He spent parts of three seasons with the Jets before being traded in 1993 to the St. Louis Blues.

In 1,495 NHL games, the St. Paul, Minn., native scored 338 goals and 894 assists for 1,232 points.

Making his first visit to Winnipeg since the day he was dealt, Housley had a smile on his face talking about the return of the NHL to this city.

"This is a great building. I was supposed to come for the opening. My wife and Zinger (Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger) were talking, but she had different plans and took me to Las Vegas for my birthday," said Housley. "It's just great to see things working out here. This is an NHL city."

Housley was as good making the first pass out of his zone as any player of his generation. One of the greatest testaments to that ability was Teemu Selanne's rookie season in the NHL. Selanne set a league record with 76 goals as a rookie and Housley played a big role, assisting on 21 of those goals and being on the ice for 51.

"Teemu's still playing and he's still producing. His legs get him where he needs to be," said Housley. "He's always been in great shape. It's fun for me to watch him. It really kind of amazes me that he's still doing it. I played for 21 years, so I appreciate it."

Housley's numbers are certainly strong enough to earn him a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but the call hasn't come yet.

"I understand the last couple of classes that have gone in have been excellent and I have no argument with any of them. But I do think about going in and would like to," said Housley. "I was an impact player for 21 years in this league. I think my play makes a good case for itself. But I don't worry about it or lose sleep."

Housley coached the U.S. entry at the world junior tournament last winter and had Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba on his team. Trouba took part in the gameday skate Friday, his first time on the ice since his ugly crash into the end boards on Oct. 18. Housley stood along the glass and watched his former player for a few minutes.

"It's great to see him on the ice. I've been following his progress and he's stepped into the league nicely. He's got a lot of assets as a player, but best of all is his competitive edge," said Housley. "When I coached him, I knew if he went into the corner the other guy was going to know it and Jacob was more often than not going to come out with the puck. That's invaluable in a player." Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 9, 2013 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Mayor Bowman reacts to Caspian investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Carolyn Kavanagh(10) had this large dragonfly land on her while spending time at Winnetka Lake, Ontario. photo by Andrea Kavanagh (mom0 show us your summer winnipeg free press

View More Gallery Photos


Who should get more playing time in Jets net?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google