Steve Staios headed to Long Island in training camp on a tryout basis to prove that he can still swing it in the NHL after years in Edmonton and Calgary. What he showed coach Jack Capuano must’ve been impressive because the 38 year-old defenseman was signed to a one-year contract with the Islanders today.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Staios’ contract with the Isles is worth $800,000 with bonuses that could make it worth up to $1.2 million. If the Isles shock the world and win the Stanley Cup, Staios will make $1.6 million.
Staios is a solid guy but dealt with injury problems in Calgary the last two seasons. The Islanders were in need of some veteran depth on the blue line and Staios will fit the bill there as the Isles could use as many reinforcements there as possible. While Mark Streit is the top guy there, the rest of the Isles support on the blue line is a bit more tenuous. Injuries crushed the Isles on defense last year and Staios makes for good insurance this time around.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.