Staios will earn $2.9 million in each of the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, $2.8 million in 2009-10 and $2.2 million in 2010-11. “There is nowhere else I want to play,” said Staios. “I have had two chances at free agency since I’ve been here and I passed them up for a reason. I’m a fortunate guy to be a part of this organization, this city and with this coaching staff.”
Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe was glad to secure Staios for another four years.
“Steve exemplifies what it means to be an Edmonton Oiler and we couldn’t be happier with this long-term extension,” Lowe said in a statement. “He is one of those players who leads by example and will do everything it takes to accomplish the task at hand.”
Staios, 33, would have been an unrestricted free agent next summer.
“Unrestricted free agency looks a little bit tempting until you get yourself involved with an organization like the Oilers,” Staios said. “Then there is nowhere else you want to go. You spend a lot of time thinking about your options and at the end of every conversation, whether it was with my agent or my wife or anybody close to me, it always ended up that there was no reason to go anywhere.”
He had a goal and eight assists in 20 games this season before Tuesday night’s game against Calgary. The Hamilton native also led the team in penalty minutes and blocked shots and was second in hits.
Staios signed with the Oilers in July 2001. He’s happy with the idea of playing out his career in Edmonton, but can’t make any guarantees just yet.
“I’d love to finish my career here,” said Staios. “But I am reluctant to say that this contract will take me to the end of my career because I feel I can play more years after this contract. I’m hoping to anyway.”