Tracking Steve Staios

Kent Wilson
March 19 2010 10:50AM

Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks

 

...Or "how I continue to worry and have yet to learn to love Steve Staios"

It's no secret that I was an outspoken critic of the Staios acquisition. I felt it was the needless addition of a bad contract to a team already low on cap flexibility going into next year. In addition, the theorized short-term benefits of adding Staios seemed paltry, especially in light of his age, declining abilities and the fact he boasts some of the worst results amongst all NHL defensemen this season.

Staios has appeared in 7 games since arriving. How has he done over that span?

Well, he's averaged over 18 minutes per game thus far. That's good!

 He's been on the ice for more than half of the ES goals scored against the Flames (5 of 9). That's bad.

He is a cumulative -3. That's bad.

He has already taken 5 minor penalties. That's bad.

He is underwater in terms of scoring chance differential (-21) and corsi (-21). That's bad.

He has averaged 1:46/game on the PP. Because he's a man that has scored 2 goals in the last 127 games played, that's bad.

Some of the poor results aren't necessarily Steve's fault. He's been deployed in the Flames top 4 rotation with Jay Bouwmeester in tough circumstances thus far. Given his abilities and struggles as a third pairing guy in EDM this year, I can safely say that the current assignment is above Staios' head. So, I'll grudgingly cut him some slack in that regard.

The team as a whole has a winning record since Staios arrived (that's good!), but they haven't been able to claw their way back into the playoff picture (again, bad). What's more, the outshooting/possession stats have begun to falter back down to pre-mini-rebuild levels and, despite the nominally positive record, there's been no real change in the team's on-ice play or demeanor since the addition. There's been good games and bad games, but all well within the established character of the club to date. For example, Jarome Iginla has gone back into hybernation recently, managing zero points, 12 shots on net a -4 rating over his last 4 games. I mention this, because the ostensible reason for acquiring Staios was his "high compete level, experience and character". Now, I assume that was meant to mean those qualities would somehow rub off on the other players in the dressing room and elevate their performance...but, to my eye at least, there's been no evidence of that yet.

Of course, another thus far unstated consequence of bringing Staios aboard is the resultant scratching of Adam Pardy. Now, Pardy is a third pairing defender in this league and his utility is probably limited. However, he remains a relatively young, potentially improving asset. One whose development in now stgnating so the team can give reps to an obviously declining player in Steve Staios. Nevermind that Pardy has been the superior player this season by a number of measures - let's assume they are equals at worst and Staios is marginally superior at best - the truth is Pardy could be a cheap, capable contributor to this team for a number of years down the road. Staios won't be.

That said, we're only 7 games into the 'Steady Steve' era. That's a tiny sample size and not enough to judge anyone's performance. I wouldn't bet my own money on Staios measurably improving going forward, but I'm willing to admit, for now, that we haven't quite seen enough of the guy to write him off completely.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Smitty
March 19 2010, 11:00AM
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At least getting Staios came with a free Frogurt.

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#2 Twiggs
March 19 2010, 11:15AM
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Horcoff and Moreau are still available as well....

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#4 M F
March 19 2010, 11:26AM
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"That said, we're only 7 games into the 'Steady Steve' era. That's a tiny sample size and not enough to judge anyone's performance."

But we have the rest of his season with the Oilers to show that he sucks!

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#5 Twiggs
March 19 2010, 11:38AM
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@Kent Wilson

Sure we will take Kotalik but we want the free yogurt back that we sent over with Staios.

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#6 Robert Cleave
March 19 2010, 12:44PM
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Twiggs wrote:

Sure we will take Kotalik but we want the free yogurt back that we sent over with Staios.

Done and done. Any flavour you folks want, probiotic, you name it.

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#8 Justin
March 19 2010, 01:09PM
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@Robert Cleave

Hell, I'd give them 2.7 million cups of yogurt if they took him back.

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#9 maimster
March 19 2010, 01:10PM
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Not to be a pain, but seriously, Staios is such an easy target that these pieces are a bit like hoping for an accident to watch. It was a ridiculous move, in retrospect (and in foresight as you and many others noted). Now it just feels like piling on.

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#10 VK63
March 19 2010, 01:47PM
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On the upside for Flames fans, this deal may have kept Stumbellini his job.

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#11 Twiggs
March 19 2010, 02:03PM
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Its like Tambs went to Sutter and said "you should take Staios, it s what I would do", and then Sutter listened for some reason. It almost makes me feel bad for flames fans...

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#12 Brent
March 19 2010, 02:07PM
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Steve Staios also contains potassium benzoate (That's bad).

Right on Kent, not even so much about Steady Steve, but on the stagnation of Adam Pardy. That's what burns me.

The Sutter era has not been a time of development of younger players, but of consistent reclamation projects. It's time Sutter finally bought himself that '65 Mustang instead.

Who have they developed over the last five years? Pardy? Moss? Giordano, despite the Keenan-Sutter double whammy of benching/sending to KHL? Or the half dozen guys traded away too quickly?

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#14 Twiggs
March 19 2010, 02:43PM
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@Kent Wilson

Which is why we watch TSN.

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#15 Brent G.
March 19 2010, 03:46PM
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You know Kent,

I do really enjoy your insight into the Flames and hockey more generally Your use of math is quite but but just once, JUST ONCE, I would like to read something positive.

Every time you write anything its about how Iginla sucks, Staios is terrible, Toskala is horrendous (they better not resign him). Realistically its not all doom and gloom. Obviously the Flames, a 9th place team, has some issues but they are far from terrible. Sutter made some bad moves (Staios being one) but honestly the Toskala one is proving very good, Stajan has the 2nd liner make up and if utilized properly will fluorish. Look at Ian White and what he has done since joining the Flames. Compare him to What phaneuf has done since joining Toronton: keep in mind he makes like 1/10 Phaneufs Salary.

I will be calling for Sutters dismissal at the end of the season like everyone else but its not all doom and gloom. He found a way to get rid of Vandermeers bad salary, Jokinens too! No one saw that coming.

Im just saying just one I want to read something complimentary. Something more than "Kipper isnt sucking as expected." You even found fault in the Bourque contract because of length even though it was a pretty good $ figure. If hes not a useful player in 4 years they will find a way to get rid of him if he is that bad; he still might get even better too though.

Toskala is a great example. His season stats are very poor yet he has been very good since joining the flames. Its a small sample size but I do like the idea of keeping him beyond this season at a reasonable rate (~1 mill). Your response was go with Leighton. Leighton sucks. Hes a #3 goalie on most teams (as he is on Philly).

Think Positive. Odds are against them to make playoffs but I truly still think they might...

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