UFA Profile: Steve Staios

Steve Staios goes down in history as the first player ever aquired by the Calgary Flames in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers.  Staios took a lot of abuse this past season, without a ton of just cause in my eyes, but it is fair to say one thing: you don’t want $2.7 million counting on your cap for a guy who only played 39 games.  There is no way Staios should be back with the team next season, but his time with the Flames wasn’t a total waste, even if the cap hit didn’t fall in line.

Staios gave us some moments during the 2010-11 season, scoring a couple of pretty big goals in exciting hockey games.  We all remember Calgary’s thriller of a shootout win in Philadelphia back in November, and most will remember Steve’s tying goal in the third period, when he jumped in on the rush and fired the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky. 

There was his goal against the Dallas Stars in February at the ‘Dome when he sniped a shorthanded marker past Kari Lehtonen in a 4-2 win, or there was that goal in Edmonton.  In fact, all three of Staios’s goals last season were pretty big ones, and none bigger than the one he scored against his former team on March 26th.  In the midst of a third period comeback, Staios jumped up into the play and scored from the right circle with just 1:55 to go in the third period to send Calgary to a shootout, locked in a 4-4 tie.  He certainly did give us some moments this year.

Look, I know having a $2.7 million defenceman taking up space in the press box is not a desirable thing, and really, there was no reason for Darryl Sutter to have made the trade in the first place.  It didn’t make sense at the time and it doesn’t make sense today.  That said, it’s not as if Staios was awful in his role when he played it; I felt that more often than not, he gave the team steady enough minutes in the 5-6 slot.  It’s not his fault the trade was made and it’s not his fault he’s getting paid what he does, so from a strictly on-ice perspective, it wasn’t a total disaster.

However, there’s no way Steady Steve is coming back under conventional wisdom…or any wisdom whatsoever.  He’s turning 38 in July and the Flames need to give shots to younger players on the blueline, and there’s really no room for Staios.  It’s probably a long shot he gets offered a contract early on in free agency, as he might be a guy more suited for the Brendan Morrison tryout route.  That’s no knock on him, it’s just the business these days, and the fact is, Staios will be two years away from 40 when the season starts.

  • “That said, it’s not as if Staios was awful in his role when he played it”

    I think we were watching different hockey games… that or you held his role to an alarmingly low standard.

    For the most part I thought Staois was terrible out there. I consider Staois the epitome of everything that was wrong with the Sutter regime… acquiring below replacement level veterans rather then giving younger players a chance, poor cap management, shortsighted trades, elevation of “intangibles” over actual skill… If anyone ever writes a book called “The downfall of Darryl Sutter” Ol’ Steady Steve-o should be somewhere on the cover.

  • Steve was okay as a 6th-7th guy. Not great, despite some pretty cushy circumstances, but I’ve seen worse.

    He looked awful in the top-4 role when he landed with the club (remember when Sutter played him with Jay Bouwmeester…likely at the behest of his increasingly unstable brother boss?), but that’s not really his fault – the role was way over his head at this point in his career. And, of course, his contract was bad too.

    Those two things really poisoned the well for ol’ Steady Steve here in town. It’s too bad too, because I’ve heard he’s a quality guy.

  • icedawg_42

    Yeah – he gets a bad rap, and deservedly so for his on ice performance..but I seem to remember that the team was incredibly listless at the time, and when he signed there was a jolt of “try” for a little while. Maybe just coincidence, but now… Staios Is REALLY Available

    I will give him credit for one thing – when Washington came through town last year, I stayed and watched the Flames optional skate – he stayed WELL after everyone else had left, and was working his damned tail off – I believe he was in the press box at the time though, so again…coincidence? I think not.

  • Kent’s bang on. The contract and the misuse of Staios lead to him getting a really rough ride here. As a 6th guy, he did just fine, and there was a span when he was filling in for injury reasons where he was pretty consistent.

    I don’t want to see the guy back, for the good of the team and it’s future, but I think we’re too quick to be harsh on Staios.

  • Ya Staios will not be back, but he will be missed, because we can no longer make a Photoshop about him. I didn’t mind Staios, but we need to give young guys like Brodie a chance over him. Darryl shouldn’t have made the trade though

    As Darryl would say: I don’t always make bad trades, but when I do, I prefer Steve Staios.

  • RKD

    While Staios didn’t have the foot speed, he was reilable and did score some pretty important goals. However, at his age and declining production isn’t worth $2.7 million.

    While Staios took his fair share of abuse it pales in comparison to what Jay-Bo and Cory Sarich received and will continue to receive.

  • PrairieStew

    Clearly at a $2.7 m cap number he became a lightning rod; but as seen by Vancouver’s trials in the playoffs – you can never have enough NHL capable defensemen. This was the logic Sutter was working from.

    In reality last year he took a potential spot away from TJ Brodie and no one else. It was probably for the best that Brodie got to play significant minutes in the AHL rather than 10-12 minutes in 40 games at the NHL level. Would the team have been better without him ? Depends on how they would have spent the additional $2 million, because I don’t think Brodie’s impact would have been a difference maker.

    If he signed a one year $600 K contract I wouldn’t be terribly upset, because after the top 4 guys things are pretty uncertain and he still may be a better solution than Negrin, Seabrook, Pelech or Breen. ( or Carson for that matter).

  • Derzie

    Staois added value as an NHL defenseman. He’s just overpaid. If he was a 800k cap hit, he’d be a good fit on the 3rd pairing. Other than that, there are better options with the kids.