Flames welcome former foe into the fold

Steve MacFarlane, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:34 PM ET

CALGARY Two months ago, they traded punches.

Thursday morning, they exchanged pleasantries.

Defenceman Robyn Regehr had just one special request before accepting former Edmonton Oilers blueliner Steve Staios as a teammate.

Made sure he sanitized his equipment before he came into the room, joked Regehr, throwing the final jab in their personal Battle of Alberta.

He said hi to me this morning, and I said hi to him, and it seems like water under the bridge.

The fight was a product of two rugged rearguards doing what comes naturally competing hard.

It was just emotion. He moved up on the draw in our zone, and we chatted there, Regehr said. That led to us doing a little bit of dancing.

Competitiveness is one of the reasons Staios was brought in at Wednesdays trade deadline.

Its what he can add to the product on the ice, and Staios is already envisioned in a top-four role by team brass.

Ill bring it every night like I did in the past, Staios said after his first practice in Flames colours. It was a little unique putting the jersey on this morning, but Im already starting to feel at home.

Expected to be an instant leader in the dressing room, Staios can offer more than just words of advice from a veteran 36-year-old whos seen it all.

Hes gonna bring a calming influence with that experience, said Regehr. Also, intensity. Hes someone who plays the game hard. Hes a good, honest player that way. You know what youre going to get from that type of player.

First, Staios says he wants to earn the respect of his teammates.

You do that by being committed to the team, and being committed on and off the ice to the organization, Staios said.

I care about my teammates, I work hard. I dont know, that transcends into leadership. It wont always be that vocal.

It doesnt have to be verbal. Staios is capable of helping a team that has added eight new faces in a month come together quickly just by going about his business as usual.

Ive been in this situation before, where games become really important. Its a fun time of year to play, he said. Ill just try to lead by example and offer as much leadership as I can.

Guys have to realize this is a real fun time to be competing and playing. I know that from the recent past when youre not playing for anything, its no fun. Hopefully, we all embrace it.

Sort of like they way he and his new teammates have accepted the fact hes a former Oiler who came to the Flames in the first trade between the two franchises.

This is a thrill for me. Im fortunate that I could be a part of that, Staios said.

Im really excited to be here.

His fellow Flames are happy to see for themselves hes a good guy after years of being bashed around by him.

Its fun to see how nice they are, said Conroy. I didnt like Iggy (Jarome Iginla), or a lot of these guys Ive played against. And then they come in and you find out hes not a jerk.

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca


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