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Steve Staios retires after 18 seasons to join Maple Leafs' front office

Steve Staios skates in Syosset, N.Y., Sept. 19, 2011. Staios is retiring and moving into the Toronto Maple Leafs' front office. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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Steve Staios skates in Syosset, N.Y., Sept. 19, 2011. Staios is retiring and moving into the Toronto Maple Leafs' front office. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

TORONTO - Veteran defenceman Steve Staios is retiring and moving into the Toronto Maple Leafs' front office.

The Hamilton native, who spent 18 seasons in the NHL, has been named Toronto's new player development adviser.

Staios, 39, will advise the Leafs management team on the prospects and players at all levels of the organization.

He will also take on special assignments for both the amateur and pro scouting departments.

Staios spent last season with the New York Islanders, recording eight assists in 65 games.

He finishes his career with 56 goals and 164 assists in 1,001 games with Boston, Vancouver, Atlanta, Edmonton, Calgary and the Islanders.

Staios said it was time to ''move on to a news chapter in my life."

"I am very excited about joining the Toronto Maple Leafs management team," Staios said in a release Wednesday. "I am looking forward to doing everything I can to help the team have success."

The move reunites Staios and Leafs general manager Brian Burke, who was the GM of the Vancouver Canucks when Staios played there in the late '90s.

Burke called Staios a ''working man's player.

"Steve has tremendous character and leadership skills and he has a bright future," said Burke. "This position will allow him to provide insight and analysis while developing his understanding of our hockey operations."

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