Many flames fans are already giving up on the season. Some are even hoping for the team to tank this season which would spell the demise of Darryl Sutter. Is this approach towards the 2010-11 season justified? Lets look at the various reasons as to why this season is considered to be over before opening night faceoff by the fans
Last I looked at the Ales Kotalik Trade
Today I will look at the
2. Steve Staios trade
Fans had equal or more contempt for the Staios trade when compared to other moves. The Flames gave away a cheap younger 7th defenseman along with a 3rd round pick for an aging veteran leader in Staios. Staios is indeed a leader in his own right but being paid 2.7million for his leadership attributes is a bit on the steep side.
Staios has been a leader for the Oilers defense, but their fans were glad when the flames traded for Staios. What does that say about the player? (after also accounting for the fact we are talking about Oilers fans.) Most fans used to say he didn't bring much to the table for the 2.7 million he was paid. A leader for sure they said. The way the oilers have performed the last season, I am not sure if I am too happy with getting a leader from their team. Staios does appear to be a classy player though and one who was indeed glad to having been traded to the flames. But then again there are very few players who wouldn't show being glad when they are joining any new team. It wouldn't be a good way to get into a team especially coming from a rival with a huge frown on your face.
He has not been a good player in terms of being on the ice during goal scoring. With a -27 the previous season over a period of 58 games isn't a stat to be very proud of. Will have to take that Edmonton wasn't too good a team into account as well. His last plus season, though, happened in 2005-06, after which he has always been a player below 0. Many fans don't view +/- to be a big stat and also not a stat that really represents a player's skills. But for a player whose game depends solely on his defensive play, this is not a positive representation of his play. One factor to consider is that injuries to the oilers forced Staios to handle a lot more icetime than he would have been expected to considering his age and abilities. Also added to that the dismal performance by the entire team, could be a factor in his +/- numbers.
He does not possess the fleetest of feet on the team. Having Regehr and Sarich already on the team who don't possess good foot speeds, the flames would be better off giving a spot to a younger player with better foot speed as well as room to grow.
He is a player who has been to the dance and does have tonnes of experience playing with the Oilers during their cup run and playing an important part. That was a time when he could handle about 20 minutes a game as a valuable contributer on the defensive side and also chip in offensively. That time is long gone though and age has taken its toll. Even though manned the blue lines for an average of 19 minutes last season, his effectiveness during his time on the ice has gone down considerably.
Staios, when playing on the flames, saw some time on the powerplay as well. Staios, though, isn't necessarily a powerplay defenseman. Before the trade, this role was fulfilled by Sarich. With JayBo, Gio and White manning the point in the powerplay, this leaves one spot open, which can be (and has been) filled by Pardy or Sarich.
With the 2.7 million he is being paid, it makes the flames defense quite expensive. 2.7 million for a third pairing defenseman is a bit too much and this is where he will fall on the depth chart if kept on the team falling in after Regehr, White, JayBo, Gio and also Sarich.
This is no knock on Staios, who is a good player and could crack the top 6 on most team, for his leadership and skill wise. The only drawback for him is his hefty salary, which the flames would have a hard time absorbing.
Sutter, usually has a problem sending a grizzled veteran player of the like of Staios to play in the minors. He did send Ericksson but found a way to put Warrener in the LTIR. Staios, doesn't have much going for him in the way of trade value. Though luckily he is signed for just one more season and if any team is in need of a leader and defenseman, he might generate some interest. If Ethan Moreau could be picked up, a team might be willing to give Staios a shot as a veteran presence.
This dilemma would be tougher to handle than the Kotalik situation. Both his age as well as his reputation for a warrior would have to be taken into consideration by Darryl in any move he wants to make.
As of right now, I view him to be a victim of the cap and he probably would be the (or one of the) player(s) to be sacrificed to fall below the limit.
But knowing Sutter, one doesn't honestly know what will the actual move be. Let us hope what ever the move is, it will help the flames in the short as well as the long run
Go Flames Go!