"I think the first reaction that I had was that we're really making a commitment to winning," said defenceman Steve Staios, a rookie teammate with the Bruins during Oates's stint in Boston. "He has some great leadership qualities and the first thing you think about is that this is a commitment to winning on this team -- not like it hasn't been there in the past -- but this is a real sign that we're going to move forward."
Staios described Oates as a quietly confident player whose offensive talent is gilt by association -- he makes everyone around him shine.
Did Staios have any doubt that, at 41, Oates can still be a big-time player?
"No doubt. No doubt in my mind," Staios said. "I think that what we have to understand is that he hasn't been playing or doing much since we signed him. And this is a different system than I think (Oates) has played in, so it will be an adjustment for him that way.
"But offensively, it's just, I mean, you'll see. You see him once or twice a year and you don't really grasp how he handles the puck and how he reads the play."
Of course Oates is only likely here for this season, but does anyone think that the simple act of signing someone like that and showing that 'commitment to winning' (man that term annoys me) maybe tipped the scales in Staios' head to sign here long term?