Could Hamilton Bulldogs president and general manager Steve Staios be a candidate to join the hockey operations department of the Montreal Canadiens?
After putting together the best regular season team in the Ontario Hockey League that will play for berth in the 2022 Memorial Cup in Game 7 of the OHL Final Wednesday, Staios is becoming a buzz name in NHL front office rumors. On Tuesday, Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman wondered if the Montreal Canadiens could come knocking for Staios to join their hockey Ops department?
“Steve Staios is an interesting one; I’ve always wondered about two teams with him in particular,” Friedman said. “Montreal and Edmonton. Montreal, he’s got tie-ins from his days with the Andlauer family, which is a minority owner of the team. Edmonton, obviously he played there, he played a lot of his career there. I do think that the day is gonna come when Staios is in the NHL and working his way up somewhere, and those are the two teams I’ve kind of looked at and wondered.”
After an NHL career that saw Staios play for the Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, Atlanta Thrashers, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and the New York Islanders over the better part of 18 seasons in the NHL, Staios retired from the NHL after the 2011-12 NHL regular season and on July 25, 2012, he was hired as a player development adviser for the Toronto Maple Leafs. After Randy Carlyle was fired, Staios went on the bench to act as an assistant coach to interim coach Peter Horachek.
Under his leadership, the Hamilton Bulldogs have gone from pretenders to contenders and this season they finished atop the Ontario Hockey League with a record of 51-12-3-2 for 107 points to lead the OHL. If they can beat former Boston Bruins center and current Windsor head coach Marc Savard and the Spitfires Wednesday, they’ll advance to the 2022 Memorial Cup.