Steve Staios, a reliable defenceman for 18 years in the NHL, will pass along what he learned in his new position as a player development adviser for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke made the appointment official Wednesday after Staios announced his retirement as a player. Staios, who turns 39 on Saturday, played last season for the New York Islanders. The Hamilton native spent the bulk of his career with the Edmonton Oilers and also played for the Vancouver Canucks when Burke was the team's GM, the Atlanta Thrashers and Calgary Flames.
"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," Staios said in a media release from the Leafs. "I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Brian Burke and [Leaf vice-president] Dave Nonis and learn from their experience and knowledge."
Burke said the work ethic Staios brought to his playing career is well-suited to his new position. Staios will evaluate and advise the prospects and players throughout the organization and do some scouting.
"Steve has tremendous character and leadership skills and he has a bright future," Burke said. "This position will allow him to provide insight and analysis while developing his understanding of our hockey operations."