NHL notes: Staios joins Leafs front office
Journeyman defenceman Steve Staios quietly ended his 18-year playing career Wednesday and immediately skated into a front-office position with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Staios was hired as player development advisor by the Leafs. He will advise the Leafs management team on prospects and players at all levels of the organization and go on special scouting assignments.
“I am very excited about joining the Toronto Maple Leafs management team,” Staios said. “I am looking forward to doing everything I can to help the team have success. The time is right for me and my family to step away from the game that I love to play and move on to a new chapter in my life. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Brian Burke and Dave Nonis and learn from their experience and knowledge.” Staios, 39, played 1,001 games in the NHL during a career that included stops with six teams, including the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. The Hamilton native played for Burke, the Leafs’ general manager, when they were both with the Canucks from 1996 to Œ99.
“Steve Staios was a working man’s player’ -- ready to play every night, competed to the best of his ability regularly against the other team’s best players -- and he was an exemplary teammate,” Burke said. “Steve has tremendous character and leadership skills and he has a bright future. This position will allow him to provide insight and analysis while developing his understanding of our hockey operations. We congratulate him on his dedication and worthy years of service as a player and we are really thrilled to have him join our team today.”
WEBER HAPPY IN NASHVILLE
A day after the Nashville Predators matched an offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers, preventing Shea Weber from switching teams, the defenceman said Wednesday he can envision staying in the Music City until he retires.
And, yes, he did sound sincere. Of course, he now has 110 million reasons to like playing for the Predators.
“Now that this is over with Š this is a place I can see myself for the rest of my career,” Weber told The Tennessean. “I love the city of Nashville. I love the fans and my teammates. It’s a very positive thing that the ownership has stepped up and shown they’re going to be a team that’s going to spend to the cap and bring guys in and be a successful team.” Philly’s offer sheet was for $110 million over 14 years. That means Weber will be under contract to the Preds, if he stays the entire term, until the
2025-26 season, when he’s 40 years old.
“This made the most sense,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “I think everybody feels they’re part of it and going forward we’re all part of this team we’re going to take to the Stanley Cup in the near future.”
Newly acquired New York Rangers forward admitted Wednesday he would have preferred to be traded at the deadline last season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets traded Nash to the Rangers Monday for a package of three young players and a first-round pick. Nash, the Blue Jackets captain, wanted out of Columbus last season but it took longer than he expected for a deal to be worked out.
“I was disappointed, but I was captain of an NHL hockey team and was professional,” Nash said during a press conference in New York. “You look at huge deals and sometimes they get done in a day and sometimes it takes months. I think it’s a pretty big trade for both organizations and it had to get done right and I respect that.
“I always wanted to get it done, but get it done in the right way. I wanted to play somewhere where I wanted to be and this was my No. 1 priority, to be here. I’m just happy it worked out. If I had to wait all summer to come here, then I would have.” The 28-year-old winger said he still hasn’t completely come to grips with the fact he’s now a Ranger.
“I don’t think it’s all digested just yet,” Nash said. “It’s been a bit crazy, with everything happening and coming down here. I’m excited to meet all the staff here and all the people and get to know some of the players and look forward to training camp.”
The Vancouver Canucks re-signed tough guy forward Dale Weise to a one-year, one-way contract that will pay him $615,000. Weise had four goals and four assists in 68 games with the Canucks last season ... Forward Stephane Da Costa signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Ottawa Senators. Da Costa split last season between the Sens and Binghamton of the AHL, recording two goals and two assists in 22 NHL games ... Former fab prospect Fabian Brunnstrom signed a three-year contract with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League. The 27-year-old Swede had 19 goals and 23 assists in 104 career games with Dallas and Detroit ... Defenceman Jordie Benn, the older brother of forward Jamie Benn, signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Stars. He had nine goals and 23 assists in 62 games with Texas of the AHL last season.