BUFFALO, NY - Phil Housley already has visions of the "brand" of hockey he will bring to the Sabres. It's one that involves a high-tempo attack and focuses on developing the defense, one of the weak spots of this team last season.

"Playing with speed, playing with pace, playing fast and that includes a five-man attack so our defense is going to be very involved in the play," Phil Housley said at his introductory press conference on Thursday.

Which makes sense given the type of defense he coached with Nashville. The Predators had one of the league's top defenses that finished top two in goals scored by defensemen all four years under Housley. That's something he wants to implement in Buffalo.

"I'm not saying we're going to go reckless abandon, we're not going to be reckless or be defensive liability but we want to have our defense in the play," Housley explained.

And while Housley no longer has guys like Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, P.K. Subban or Mattias Ekholm, he does see potential.

"The D core with (Rasmus) Ristolainen and (Jake) McCabe, those guys are cornerstones of this franchise," Housley said.