According to the team announcement, Staios will report directly to new owner Michael Andlauer, and “will preside over the Senators’ hockey department.” A statement on the hire was given by Andlauer, which reads:
I am so excited that Steve is joining me in Ottawa to lead our hockey operations. I have worked with Steve for many years and know first-hand that he will strengthen our team with his hockey acumen, attention to detail, commitment to excellence and enthusiasm for the game and its players. In hockey you can never accumulate too much talent. Having Steve and Pierre leading our hockey department gives us a formidable team.
This move isn’t one that comes as a complete surprise, in large part due to the deep existing ties between Andlauer and Staios. Before he became a special assistant to the GM for the Edmonton Oilers, Staios served as President and General Manager for the Hamilton Bulldogs (Andaluer’s OHL franchise) starting in 2015-16.
Staios’ NHL experience extends beyond his year in Edmonton, as he also worked in player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs and does bring 1,001 NHL games of experience from his playing days.
What this addition means for the Senators is that it’s a first look at how an Andlauer-managed hockey operations department could differ from how the Senators’ hockey operations have been organized for many years. For years, GM Pierre Dorion has been at the top of Senators hockey operations, the unequivocal leader of that department.
Now, there’s another voice of importance there, and one that reports directly to ownership rather than Dorion. While it’s unclear whether this change will materialize into any concrete hockey operations decisions in the near future, this is a hire with significant long-term implications for the Senators franchise.