Ex-Islander Steve Staios officially announced his retirement from the NHL and accepted a position with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Staios will work with the Leafs as a Player Development Advisor in their front office. While Steve Staios seemed slated to retire since the NHL draft, the announcement makes it official. Staios closed his 18-year career on a one-year deal with the New York Islanders.
It was a fairly eventful year with the New York Islanders for Steve Staios. He was invited to camp on a tryout before signing a one-year deal with the team. Steve Staios quickly asserted himself as a leader and his veteran presence was so valuable that the Islanders named him an assistant captain in October.
On the ice, Staios had just eight assists and no goals in 65 games. However, he was able to eclipse the 1,000 game mark as a New York Islander, just the 279th player to ever reach the milestone. He totaled over 1,000 minutes for the tenth time in his career, filling a need on the Islanders blue line.
While Steve Staios was never an elite defenseman, he made his career as a durable, serviceable player. The journeyman defenseman played with six different teams before closing his career with the New York Islanders. Before joining the Toronto Maple Leafs as an advisor, Staios was with three other Canadian franchises: the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and Calgary Flames. Staios was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 1991, entering the NHL with the Boston Bruins in 1995-96. He also played briefly with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Staios was a pleasant addition to the Islanders clubhouse in his final year in the NHL and still a capable defenseman. As he transitions his career into the front office, Steve Staios should make an excellent advisor. Staios is a brilliant hire by the Toronto Maple Leafs as a player development specialist. His personality, experience, and leadership qualities will translate directly into a successful career in management. In addition, being from Ontario should make it easier to fit in with Toronto faithful – especially in a player development role. His experience aiding in the development of the youth in the Islanders organization should help him in Toronto as well.