After 18 seasons, Steve Staios is hanging up the blades.
The veteran defenseman, who spent last season with the New York Islanders, officially announced his retirement Wednesday morning. Staios, who played in 1,001 career regular-season games and 33 more in the postseason, has accepted a position with the Toronto Maple Leafs as Player Development Advisor. He turns 39 on Saturday.
"I am very excited about joining the Toronto Maple Leafs management team," Staios said. "I am looking forward to doing everything I can to help the team have success. The time is right for me and my family to step away from the game that I love to play and move on to a new chapter in my life. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Brian Burke and Dave Nonis and learn from their experience and knowledge."
Burke was the general manager in Vancouver when Staios played for the Canucks from 1996-99.
"Steve Staios was a 'working man's player' -- ready to play every night, competed to the best of his ability regularly against the other team's best players and he was an exemplary teammate," Burke said. "Steve has tremendous character and leadership skills and he has a bright future. This position will allow him to provide insight and analysis while developing his understanding of our hockey operations. We congratulate him on his dedication and worthy years of service as a player and we are really thrilled to have him join our team today."
Staios will advise the Leafs management team on prospects and players at all levels of the organization. He will also be relied upon for special assignments by both the amateur and pro scouting departments.
The Hamilton, Ontario native finished with 56 goals, 164 assists and 1,322 penalty minutes in his NHL career. He helped the Edmonton Oilers reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2006.