Steve Staios is reportedly no longer with the Edmonton Oilers front office. The change was first discovered by Oilers fans noticing that Staios was no longer listed on the Oilers’ hockey operations website. The news was then confirmed by Tom Gazzola during a recent Oil Stream podcast.
Staios’ time with Edmonton
Staios joined the Oilers last October, when he joined the front office in a special advisor role, with a focus on player development. The Oilers’ press release at the time stated he would work closely with Oilers prospects and report directly to GM Ken Holland.
However, during the season it was discovered that the OIlers did not have a dedicated OHL scout. The organization put forth that Staios had been the person tasked with scouting the territory, leading to some confusion what exactly his role was.
The OHL was familiar territory for the former Oilers’ defenceman, as he had left his role as president and general manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs to join the Oilers. Staios’ input seemed to have some weight, as the Oilers first pick in the 2023 NHL Draft was used on Beau Akey in the second round, a defenceman from the OHL’s Barrie Colts. This came despite some apparent friction between Staios and Tyler Wright (Oilers Director of Player Personnel and Amateur Scouting) on footage shown on Oilers+ series, The Drop.
The conditions around Staios’ departure remain unclear. However, Staios has been linked to his former boss in Hamilton, Michael Andlauer, who is now the majority owner of the Ottawa Senators. Earlier this year, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli indicated that the Oilers would be protective of Staios, promoting him to positions that would keep him in the fold in Edmonton. It was even suggested that Staios would be Ken Holland’s successor as general manager when the Hockey Hall of Famer’s contract expires at the end of the 2023–24 season.
However, this plan may have changed now that Jeff Jackson has taken over as CEO of Hockey Operations. Details remain sparse as for what the succession plan would be for the general manager and president of hockey operations positions, but it appears that whatever direction the Oilers are taking is not enough to entice Staios to stay.
Staios seemingly heading to the to Senators
When Andlauer was announced as the preferred proposal in June, Staios was once again connected to the Senators, possibly replacing Pierre Dorion as GM. Now as recently as Thursday, there are reports from Steve Warne of Sens Nation saying that Staios’ involvement with the club is imminent, particularly as the sale from the Melnyk to family to Andlauer nears closing.
The departure will be unfortunate for the Oilers but with Ken Holland staying on for another season, Jackson likely wanting to do his own due diligence before committing to a future direction and Staios potentially receiving the GM role in in Ottawa immediately, it seems unlikely there would have been a path to keep in the Oilers organization.