The past two weeks has seen more change in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ front office than the previous four years combined. Gone are veteran NHL executives Lou Lamoriello and Mark Hunter, while 32 year old Kyle Dubas and president Brendan Shanahan are left to run the show. With Dubas’ promotion and Hunter’s departure from the team, the new look Leafs management team will have to fill the assistant general manager position currently occupied by Brandon Pridham on an interim basis.
One of the names out there for the Leafs’ new assistant GM position? Former NHL defenceman and Leafs assistant coach Steve Staios.
Leafs Nation blogger Jon Steitzer proposes that Staios is primed to return to the Leafs organization following two successful years as general manager of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. Who, by the way, just happen to be in the MasterCard Memorial Cup semi-finals.
Staios, of course, had a lengthy NHL career playing 1001 games with the Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, Atlanta Thrashers, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and New York Islanders. The stay at home defenseman, turned right winger, turned defenseman once more was a steady and reliable player who rarely missed a game. He was the definition of a character player.
The Hamilton native acted both as an assistant coach to former Leafs interim head coach Peter Horachek and was also a player development coach with the Leafs during the Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis era. In 2015 he was encouraged by Shanahan to accept the GM job with Hamilton. "He had some pretty funny comments. But basically he told me I'd be an idiot if I didn't take this chance," Staios said at the time of his hiring in Hamilton.
"I had a good relationship with Brendan Shanahan, Mark Hunter and Kyle Dubas and the development model was really starting to take shape, so I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish," Staios said on his time with the Leafs.
Could a reunion be in the works? If nothing else, Shanahan and the Leafs have not been afraid to develop front office staff the past few seasons. While Staios himself isn’t quite as young a pup as Dubas, he’s still relatively young in the world of NHL executives and this team could use some more fresh blood. Make it happen, Shanny.