Thursday, August 21, 2008

Steve Staios

07-08 Prediction

A heart and sole hockey player who continues to age like a fine wine. Staios has excellent positioning and is always physical. Is not a quick/fast player and is not offensively gifted. He’s a guy 29 NHL teams wish they had in some capacity or another. Probably not a top pairing guy but could excel in a shutdown role. Used to play forward for the Atlanta Thrashers but has been named Oilers’ Unsung Hero multiple times. Will be heavily counted upon in the upcoming season. I believe he will be named team captain, but at the very least he will be an assistant.

07-08 Evaluation

I think this one sentence "will be heavily counted upon in the upcoming season" pretty much summed up Steve Staios' last season with the Oilers, although I think "continues to age like a fine wine" still applies. Despite not having the defence presence or ability of someone like Robyn Regehr, MacTavish continues to go back to his workhorse time and time again. This face off analysis from IOF shows in yet another way just how much MacTavish counts on Staios and certainly explains why his plus minus is so bad. Imagine if the guy had anywhere near an even faceoff zone spread.

I think this upcoming year MacTavish's reliance on Staios will wain, at least in some situations. He's got some new guys that might be of use in the defensive zone (Strudwick, Visnovsky), and a couple that will probably be improved (Smid, Gilbert). Time to spread the load around a bit.

Here's Lowetide's take.

Projection: top 4 defenceman
Key Stat: 1st overall in icetime, 2nd overall in quality of opposition

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