Staios brings experience back to his hometown

Community Jul 02, 2015 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Steve Staios’ own hockey experience will go a long way in the effort to make Hamilton’s OHL Bulldogs Junior hockey team a success.

Leading the franchise from the President’s corner office at the former Copps Coliseum – the Hamilton-bred, NHLveteran Staios can see the street from his desk, while passers-by can’t see in.

But he won’t be hiding in that office. Already having met with several local community leaders and key organizations, Staios takes it upon himself to walk down the hall from his office to greet fans he overhears buying tickets for the OHL team’s first season. It’s all part of helping build his vision for a deep connection to the community. He wants Hamilton to identify with the Bulldogs.

For the veteran of 1,001 regular season NHLgames, the likelihood of long-term employment with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a key component of the team’s rebuilding wasn’t enough to keep him from coming home.

“I’m glad to be back,” he said.

Staios appeared to be in a solid position with the Leafs as manager of player development – one of just a few front office leaders left after mass firings – when he got a call from Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer.

Andlauer was buying the Belleville Bulls and moving them to Hamilton. Did Steve want to be a part of it?

“I thought about it,” Staios said, during an interview in his office at the corner of Bay and York in downtown Hamilton. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

While some questioned his decision to jump from the track he was on, Staios couldn’t resist the opportunity to return home, and help build an organization directly connected to the community.

“I wanted to come back to Hamilton,” he said. “This is about more than just playing hockey.”

Staios lived the first few years of his life in Hamilton’s east end, near Gage Park, before his father Paul bought a fish and chips shop on Main Street West – across Haddon Street from Dalewood Middle School – and opened Paul’s Variety. The family lived above the store.

“There were five of us in a three-bedroom apartment,” Staios remembered. “If it was 800 square feet I’d be surprised.”

He attended George R. Allan School (which he noted has had a name change to Cootes Paradise School), then Dalewood School across from the variety store and finally Westdale – before being drafted  by the OHL Niagara Falls Thunder.

In Niagara Falls, he met George Burnett – the young head coach just starting his OHL career. After 19 seasons in the OHL, four seasons in the AHL and parts of three seasons with two NHLteams, Burnett is working with Staios again - as general manager and head coach of the Bulldogs.

“I’m very comfortable with George,” Staios said. “Eventually, I’ll be more involved in the hockey operations.”

With Burnett in the mix, the rookie administrator is focusing on the team’s business side initially.

Staios’ job with Toronto involved preparing young players for all aspects of the NHL – experience that should be valuable running a team of teenagers with professional dreams.

Staios believes the OHL brand is better suited to Hamilton than the AHL. He said it’s tough for fans to stay connected when they don’t know who will be on the roster at any given day. The best AHL players don’t stay long, whereas the best OHL players could spend four or five seasons in the community. And they will be involved.

“We’ll be able to watch a player like Matthew Strome develop from a gangly kid into, hopefully, an NHL prospect and a leader in the community,” Staios said. “We have an opportunity to be a great influence.”

The players range in age from 16 to 20. They will billet with local families, and attend Ancaster High School.

Listening to Staios describe his vision for the OHL Bulldogs, it’s clear his style of play continues to be a driving force.

“You’ve got to have the fundamentals,” he said. “You want good people who are passionate about what they’re doing – and know their role. That’s how teams are structured. I think that’s how good businesses are structured.”

Since being named president early in June, Staios has been meeting with community leaders to discuss potential partnerships, and the role the Bulldogs will play in Hamilton.

Staios said he was fortunate to have played in Vancouver while fellow Hamiltonian Pat Quinn was general manager of the Canucks, and also in Edmonton when Quinn coached.

“We’d always sit down and talk about Hamilton. (This city) helped make him the type of person he was,” Staios said.

Quinn died in November 2014 at the age of 71.

“If I could be half the man Pat Quinn was…that would be saying a lot.”

Staios said his family – wife Susannah, a Westdale graduate, son Nathan, 14, and daughter Ella, 12, will continue living in Oakville – where Nathan will soon enter high school.

The Bulldogs host Peterborough at Dave Andreychuk Arena in an exhibition game on Saturday, Sept. 5 in partnership with the Hamilton Huskies. Tickets are $15 and available at hamiltonhuskies.ca

The Bulldogs play their first home game on Saturday, September 26 at First Ontario Centre, against the Oshawa Generals.

Staios brings experience back to his hometown

Veteran NHLer will connect Hamilton Bulldogs OHL team to community

Community Jul 02, 2015 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Steve Staios’ own hockey experience will go a long way in the effort to make Hamilton’s OHL Bulldogs Junior hockey team a success.

Leading the franchise from the President’s corner office at the former Copps Coliseum – the Hamilton-bred, NHLveteran Staios can see the street from his desk, while passers-by can’t see in.

But he won’t be hiding in that office. Already having met with several local community leaders and key organizations, Staios takes it upon himself to walk down the hall from his office to greet fans he overhears buying tickets for the OHL team’s first season. It’s all part of helping build his vision for a deep connection to the community. He wants Hamilton to identify with the Bulldogs.

For the veteran of 1,001 regular season NHLgames, the likelihood of long-term employment with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a key component of the team’s rebuilding wasn’t enough to keep him from coming home.

“I’m glad to be back,” he said.

Staios appeared to be in a solid position with the Leafs as manager of player development – one of just a few front office leaders left after mass firings – when he got a call from Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer.

Andlauer was buying the Belleville Bulls and moving them to Hamilton. Did Steve want to be a part of it?

“I thought about it,” Staios said, during an interview in his office at the corner of Bay and York in downtown Hamilton. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

While some questioned his decision to jump from the track he was on, Staios couldn’t resist the opportunity to return home, and help build an organization directly connected to the community.

“I wanted to come back to Hamilton,” he said. “This is about more than just playing hockey.”

Staios lived the first few years of his life in Hamilton’s east end, near Gage Park, before his father Paul bought a fish and chips shop on Main Street West – across Haddon Street from Dalewood Middle School – and opened Paul’s Variety. The family lived above the store.

“There were five of us in a three-bedroom apartment,” Staios remembered. “If it was 800 square feet I’d be surprised.”

He attended George R. Allan School (which he noted has had a name change to Cootes Paradise School), then Dalewood School across from the variety store and finally Westdale – before being drafted  by the OHL Niagara Falls Thunder.

In Niagara Falls, he met George Burnett – the young head coach just starting his OHL career. After 19 seasons in the OHL, four seasons in the AHL and parts of three seasons with two NHLteams, Burnett is working with Staios again - as general manager and head coach of the Bulldogs.

“I’m very comfortable with George,” Staios said. “Eventually, I’ll be more involved in the hockey operations.”

With Burnett in the mix, the rookie administrator is focusing on the team’s business side initially.

Staios’ job with Toronto involved preparing young players for all aspects of the NHL – experience that should be valuable running a team of teenagers with professional dreams.

Staios believes the OHL brand is better suited to Hamilton than the AHL. He said it’s tough for fans to stay connected when they don’t know who will be on the roster at any given day. The best AHL players don’t stay long, whereas the best OHL players could spend four or five seasons in the community. And they will be involved.

“We’ll be able to watch a player like Matthew Strome develop from a gangly kid into, hopefully, an NHL prospect and a leader in the community,” Staios said. “We have an opportunity to be a great influence.”

The players range in age from 16 to 20. They will billet with local families, and attend Ancaster High School.

Listening to Staios describe his vision for the OHL Bulldogs, it’s clear his style of play continues to be a driving force.

“You’ve got to have the fundamentals,” he said. “You want good people who are passionate about what they’re doing – and know their role. That’s how teams are structured. I think that’s how good businesses are structured.”

Since being named president early in June, Staios has been meeting with community leaders to discuss potential partnerships, and the role the Bulldogs will play in Hamilton.

Staios said he was fortunate to have played in Vancouver while fellow Hamiltonian Pat Quinn was general manager of the Canucks, and also in Edmonton when Quinn coached.

“We’d always sit down and talk about Hamilton. (This city) helped make him the type of person he was,” Staios said.

Quinn died in November 2014 at the age of 71.

“If I could be half the man Pat Quinn was…that would be saying a lot.”

Staios said his family – wife Susannah, a Westdale graduate, son Nathan, 14, and daughter Ella, 12, will continue living in Oakville – where Nathan will soon enter high school.

The Bulldogs host Peterborough at Dave Andreychuk Arena in an exhibition game on Saturday, Sept. 5 in partnership with the Hamilton Huskies. Tickets are $15 and available at hamiltonhuskies.ca

The Bulldogs play their first home game on Saturday, September 26 at First Ontario Centre, against the Oshawa Generals.

Staios brings experience back to his hometown

Veteran NHLer will connect Hamilton Bulldogs OHL team to community

Community Jul 02, 2015 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Steve Staios’ own hockey experience will go a long way in the effort to make Hamilton’s OHL Bulldogs Junior hockey team a success.

Leading the franchise from the President’s corner office at the former Copps Coliseum – the Hamilton-bred, NHLveteran Staios can see the street from his desk, while passers-by can’t see in.

But he won’t be hiding in that office. Already having met with several local community leaders and key organizations, Staios takes it upon himself to walk down the hall from his office to greet fans he overhears buying tickets for the OHL team’s first season. It’s all part of helping build his vision for a deep connection to the community. He wants Hamilton to identify with the Bulldogs.

For the veteran of 1,001 regular season NHLgames, the likelihood of long-term employment with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a key component of the team’s rebuilding wasn’t enough to keep him from coming home.

“I’m glad to be back,” he said.

Staios appeared to be in a solid position with the Leafs as manager of player development – one of just a few front office leaders left after mass firings – when he got a call from Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer.

Andlauer was buying the Belleville Bulls and moving them to Hamilton. Did Steve want to be a part of it?

“I thought about it,” Staios said, during an interview in his office at the corner of Bay and York in downtown Hamilton. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

While some questioned his decision to jump from the track he was on, Staios couldn’t resist the opportunity to return home, and help build an organization directly connected to the community.

“I wanted to come back to Hamilton,” he said. “This is about more than just playing hockey.”

Staios lived the first few years of his life in Hamilton’s east end, near Gage Park, before his father Paul bought a fish and chips shop on Main Street West – across Haddon Street from Dalewood Middle School – and opened Paul’s Variety. The family lived above the store.

“There were five of us in a three-bedroom apartment,” Staios remembered. “If it was 800 square feet I’d be surprised.”

He attended George R. Allan School (which he noted has had a name change to Cootes Paradise School), then Dalewood School across from the variety store and finally Westdale – before being drafted  by the OHL Niagara Falls Thunder.

In Niagara Falls, he met George Burnett – the young head coach just starting his OHL career. After 19 seasons in the OHL, four seasons in the AHL and parts of three seasons with two NHLteams, Burnett is working with Staios again - as general manager and head coach of the Bulldogs.

“I’m very comfortable with George,” Staios said. “Eventually, I’ll be more involved in the hockey operations.”

With Burnett in the mix, the rookie administrator is focusing on the team’s business side initially.

Staios’ job with Toronto involved preparing young players for all aspects of the NHL – experience that should be valuable running a team of teenagers with professional dreams.

Staios believes the OHL brand is better suited to Hamilton than the AHL. He said it’s tough for fans to stay connected when they don’t know who will be on the roster at any given day. The best AHL players don’t stay long, whereas the best OHL players could spend four or five seasons in the community. And they will be involved.

“We’ll be able to watch a player like Matthew Strome develop from a gangly kid into, hopefully, an NHL prospect and a leader in the community,” Staios said. “We have an opportunity to be a great influence.”

The players range in age from 16 to 20. They will billet with local families, and attend Ancaster High School.

Listening to Staios describe his vision for the OHL Bulldogs, it’s clear his style of play continues to be a driving force.

“You’ve got to have the fundamentals,” he said. “You want good people who are passionate about what they’re doing – and know their role. That’s how teams are structured. I think that’s how good businesses are structured.”

Since being named president early in June, Staios has been meeting with community leaders to discuss potential partnerships, and the role the Bulldogs will play in Hamilton.

Staios said he was fortunate to have played in Vancouver while fellow Hamiltonian Pat Quinn was general manager of the Canucks, and also in Edmonton when Quinn coached.

“We’d always sit down and talk about Hamilton. (This city) helped make him the type of person he was,” Staios said.

Quinn died in November 2014 at the age of 71.

“If I could be half the man Pat Quinn was…that would be saying a lot.”

Staios said his family – wife Susannah, a Westdale graduate, son Nathan, 14, and daughter Ella, 12, will continue living in Oakville – where Nathan will soon enter high school.

The Bulldogs host Peterborough at Dave Andreychuk Arena in an exhibition game on Saturday, Sept. 5 in partnership with the Hamilton Huskies. Tickets are $15 and available at hamiltonhuskies.ca

The Bulldogs play their first home game on Saturday, September 26 at First Ontario Centre, against the Oshawa Generals.