NHL Free Agent News – September 28, 2011.

The latest on Steve Staios and Steve Begin.

CALGARY HERALD: John Downs reports former Flame and Oiler defenseman Steve Staios is hoping to land a job with the New York Islanders for the upcoming season. The 38-year-old is in Isles training camp on a tryout basis, and seen action in three preseason games, but hasn’t received a contract offer yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Downs observed the Isles have given Staios plenty of icetime in those games, giving him a good look. They could use an experienced defensive blueliner who could mentor their younger defensemen, so it’s possible Staios might fit the bill for this season.

CANOE.CA: reports UFA forward Steve Begin was among the recent cuts by the Vancouver Canucks, but isn’t making any retirement plans just yet. He’ll act as an analyst and will have hip surgery, after which he said he’ll see what happens. He also ruled out playing in Europe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s unlikely Begin will get signed this season, but he might be able to try out for a spot with an NHL team next season.



  1. i believe i remember seeing staios with an A on his jersey last game

  2. REally Sad to see Begin go out like that , what a heart and soul player. I always have a soft spot for guys who play their roles and does what the coaches tell them, weither be it playing on the 4th line or sitting in the pressbox. Will wish him all the best on a quick recovery and to all his future plans.

    Oh Could we have his soul and heart put into Andrei Kostitsyn ?

  3. Lots of Kostitsyn bashing in recent months. I’d be happy to have a proven 20-goal-scorer on my third line going into the start of the season. He won’t make waves day in and day out, but he scores a pretty consistent amount of goals each season. Then again, I’m thinking along the lines of the regular season…

  4. Begin is 33, he hasn’t had a decent season in 5 years (’06 Habs). So he’s gonna sit out this year and then play next year somehow? Haha, I highly doubt it.

    Come on Spector, you usually shoot down everything. But then your Montreal bias does shine through from time to time.

  5. I’m with mojo19!

    “but he might be able to try out for a spot with an NHL team next season.”

    Come on Spector, what’s with this crazy talk about a guy maybe trying out for a spot! Must you bleed bleu, blanc et rouge over everything!

    now i’m going to read the blogosphere stuff and then complain about having to read it.

  6. hahaha GusMacDuff…. good call.
    Spector, just for the record, you do realize that in the NHL trades sometimes happen and go through, right? Sometimes they even involve big name players! No, its true! I know its hard to believe, I had to double check, but it does happen.

  7. I’m with you James. I will always remember when Begin took the puck in his mouth, lost some teeth, missed about twio shifts getting a guard put on his helmet and getting cleaned up and telling the reporter after the game why he came back, ‘My teeth are a long way from my heart”. Gotta love it. And that folks, is why Spec makes his comment about Begin…his heart is a long way from his hip. If any body could earn a look (I SAID LOOK not contract, just like Spector didn’t write) it is Begin.

  8. Oh man, Darcy Tucker once lost two mollars… .mollars! at the back of the mouth, deep rooted teeth, he didn’t miss a single shift. Doesn’t mean he could still play a year ago when he finally had to retire when no one picked up on him.

    Just saying, you guys are Habs fans, so you’re going to have a soft spot for a good hard working grinder who happens to be an ex-hab. Even some Leafs fans around the internet were saying that some team should pick up Darcy last year. Even though he was done. So is Begin, hate to break it to you guys.

  9. +1 to Mojo.

    trades do happen, Begin won’t. seems pretty simple to me. 😉

  10. mojo: Your comments wound me, sir! I’m crying all the way to the bank…

  11. Not trying to take jabs at you. Its just an honest observation.

    • And that’s fine. As long as you keep visiting the site, that’s fine by me. And yes, I do realize trades happen. Big trades too. They just don’t happen that often anymore, and most of the “rumors” claiming these deals could happen AT…ANY…TIME are simply BS, and I see nothing wrong with stating my opinion about them.

  12. To be honest, and I don’t want to seem like I’m taking jabs, but it’s sort of the same thing anytime a rumor comes along. It would be nice if you strayed away from the “big cap hit” explanation for every player and maybe analysed the teams a little more. I’d be much more interested to come to your site more often if you did that.

  13. grantfehr: Not to be rude, but it’s not “sort of the same thing anytime a rumor comes along”. The reason why it seems that way is because,quite honestly, the salary cap really does prevent many of the rumors that float around from happening. I do however also analyze the rosters to determine if a rumored move would address their needs.

  14. It is the same thing. Time and again your mentioning how a players “salary” is too much for a team to take on. Seriously, last year you said it for a guy who made 1.8 million. I think you said it for Boris Valabik last year. Other factors exist. Like the 50 contract limit, team needs, or sometimes the player just sucks and no one wants him.

    And yeah I get that the salary cap prevents that but your explanation is almost always uniform. It’s “player A will probably not move because of salary constraints”. Its ambiguous.

    If a teams up against the cap, fine use it. If a player has a salary thats huge, fine use it. But use other reasoning too. The same explanation gets boring.

  15. Be prepared to be bored a lot, then, because often, the cap hit is the only explanation needed to pick apart a trade rumor. If you’ve followed my posts for any length of time, you’ll find I do more than just cite the salary cap, but again, in most cases, that’s the only reason needed. Why embellish when a simple answer will suffice?

  16. Well that’s just the point Lyle. You’re happy to just say “It doesn’t work in the cap” and move on. You could be a little more creative. For example: Calgary hopes to pick up player X, but they don’t have the cap space. Spectors Note: Well, player X would be a perfect fit in Calgary, maybe if (Dallas) were willing to take back some salary, along with a solid prospect a trade could work.

    But you generally don’t look for solutions to how a trade could work, instead you choose to look for ways that it won’t. Its just an overall feel of negativity. Again, this is not a criticism, its just your stye, and this is just an observation. Or maybe a constructive criticism, I know personally a lot of people who stopped frequenting your site because they feel the same way as the guy posting above me, and myself. That you’re in the business of shooting down rumours, rather than exploring ways that some of these trades coud go down.

    Overall, keep up the good work. This is a great site to find a compilation of the blurbs and headlines from various internet, TV, and newspaper rumours.

  17. mojo, that will be the answer and the only one necessary, especially when you’ve got a rumor linking a high-salaried player to a team with obviously very little cap space. Your claim, however, that this is the only response I give and move on just isn’t so, as can be determined easily by simply re-reading my posts. You don’t have to go back far, just those from the past week will suffice.

    As for “exploring ways a trade could go down”, I have done so, but more often than not, I’m directly responding to the specific rumor, and not wasting time getting into generalities. In case where there is speculation over a player being available but no specifics as to the potential teams, I at times toss out possibilities if I believe that player would meet a specific need.

    I don’t doubt that my style may have turned off some readers, but I’ve received far more praise for what I do than criticism, and been able to make a good living from it, so I must be doing something right.

    I appreciate the feedback and the support.

  18. No problem. And ya, I’ve been coming off and onto this site for years.