Steve Staios fires George Burnett and takes over as general manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs

Sports Apr 04, 2016 by Scott Radley The Hamilton Spectator

When the Hamilton Bulldogs unveiled their new uniforms the other day, the underlying message was this is now a truly local team. It may technically be the remnants of the old Bulls, but Belleville Shmellville. This is all about Hamilton now. The past is 401 East. The present is 403 West.

Turns out that fashion statement was just the beginning. The second black-and-gold shoe dropped on Monday.

In a move that further Hamiltonizes the franchise and puts an even deeper local stamp on the organization, incumbent general manager and head coach George Burnett — who'd come with the team when it arrived last spring — was shown the door. Replacing him as GM is president Steve Staios who, you might recall, is a product of this city.

The only way this team could be more Hamilton today is if it played its games at a steel mill, changed its logo to a cartoon of Evelyn Dick's face and had the players' water bottles filled with Tim Hortons double doubles.

The new head coach will be announced later. Don't be shocked if he's a local, too.

There had been rumblings in some corners over the past months that Staios might be positioning himself to eventually taken over this position. He'd been spending a lot of time watching minor hockey games, something not all team presidents do.

Remember too, he had been in player development with the Maple Leafs before coming home, so working with young players is an area of interest. As a result, the fact that he has put himself in this position isn't necessarily a shock. In some ways it seemed inevitable.

But not necessarily right now. If there's a surprise in all this, it's the timing. If Burnett was going to be sent on his way, you might have expected the axe to fall immediately after the season ended when the team missed the playoffs. Didn't happen. Now we're less than a week from the OHL draft in which the Bulldogs have the fourth overall pick and need to hit a home run, and he's sent packing.

That key pick is now the new guy's call.

Say this for Staios, he's obviously not intimidated. To the contrary, he's clearly confident in his abilities to handle broader responsibilities after just 10 months on the job. Not only did he and owner Michael Andlauer just dismiss the man who was his first coach in junior hockey — Burnett was behind the bench when Staios landed with the Niagara Falls Thunder in 1990 — but he's put himself fully in control of a team that's positioned to contend in a year or two if the right moves are made.

Until now, success or failure on the business side was his responsibility. Now success or failure everywhere is on him. It's a bold step for essentially a rookie president.

But boy, does it ever make it feel like this team is now all about Hamilton.

George Burnett's record as head coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs/Belleville Bulls:

Season Team GP W L T OTL Pct. Result
2015-16 Hamilton Bulldogs 68 25 35 8 0 0.426 Out of playoffs
2014-15 Belleville Bulls 68 27 33 0 8 0.456 Lost in Round 1
2013-14 Belleville Bulls 68 23 38 0 7 0.390 Out of playoffs
2012-13 Belleville Bulls 68 44 16 0 8 0.706 Lost in Round 3
2011-12 Belleville Bulls 68 35 32 0 1 0.522 Lost in Round 1
2010-11 Belleville Bulls 68 21 43 0 4 0.338 Lost in Round 1
2009-10 Belleville Bulls 68 20 40 0 8 0.353 Out of playoffs
2008-09 Belleville Bulls 68 47 17 0 4 0.721 Lost in Round 3
2007-08 Belleville Bulls 68 48 14 0 6 0.750 Lost in Finals
2006-07 Belleville Bulls 68 39 24 0 5 0.610 Lost in Round 3
2005-06 Belleville Bulls 68 32 28 0 8 0.529 Lost in Round 1
2004-05 Belleville Bulls 68 29 29 6 4 0.500 Lost in Round 1

Source: Hamilton Bulldogs

sradley@thespec.com

905-526-2440 | @radleyatthespec

Spectator columnist Scott Radley hosts The Scott Radley Show weeknights from 7-9 on 900CHML

Steve Staios fires George Burnett and takes over as general manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs

The immediate future of the Hamilton Bulldogs now rides on the hockey decisions of the team’s rookie president

Sports Apr 04, 2016 by Scott Radley The Hamilton Spectator

When the Hamilton Bulldogs unveiled their new uniforms the other day, the underlying message was this is now a truly local team. It may technically be the remnants of the old Bulls, but Belleville Shmellville. This is all about Hamilton now. The past is 401 East. The present is 403 West.

Turns out that fashion statement was just the beginning. The second black-and-gold shoe dropped on Monday.

In a move that further Hamiltonizes the franchise and puts an even deeper local stamp on the organization, incumbent general manager and head coach George Burnett — who'd come with the team when it arrived last spring — was shown the door. Replacing him as GM is president Steve Staios who, you might recall, is a product of this city.

The only way this team could be more Hamilton today is if it played its games at a steel mill, changed its logo to a cartoon of Evelyn Dick's face and had the players' water bottles filled with Tim Hortons double doubles.

The new head coach will be announced later. Don't be shocked if he's a local, too.

There had been rumblings in some corners over the past months that Staios might be positioning himself to eventually taken over this position. He'd been spending a lot of time watching minor hockey games, something not all team presidents do.

Remember too, he had been in player development with the Maple Leafs before coming home, so working with young players is an area of interest. As a result, the fact that he has put himself in this position isn't necessarily a shock. In some ways it seemed inevitable.

But not necessarily right now. If there's a surprise in all this, it's the timing. If Burnett was going to be sent on his way, you might have expected the axe to fall immediately after the season ended when the team missed the playoffs. Didn't happen. Now we're less than a week from the OHL draft in which the Bulldogs have the fourth overall pick and need to hit a home run, and he's sent packing.

That key pick is now the new guy's call.

Say this for Staios, he's obviously not intimidated. To the contrary, he's clearly confident in his abilities to handle broader responsibilities after just 10 months on the job. Not only did he and owner Michael Andlauer just dismiss the man who was his first coach in junior hockey — Burnett was behind the bench when Staios landed with the Niagara Falls Thunder in 1990 — but he's put himself fully in control of a team that's positioned to contend in a year or two if the right moves are made.

Until now, success or failure on the business side was his responsibility. Now success or failure everywhere is on him. It's a bold step for essentially a rookie president.

But boy, does it ever make it feel like this team is now all about Hamilton.

George Burnett's record as head coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs/Belleville Bulls:

Season Team GP W L T OTL Pct. Result
2015-16 Hamilton Bulldogs 68 25 35 8 0 0.426 Out of playoffs
2014-15 Belleville Bulls 68 27 33 0 8 0.456 Lost in Round 1
2013-14 Belleville Bulls 68 23 38 0 7 0.390 Out of playoffs
2012-13 Belleville Bulls 68 44 16 0 8 0.706 Lost in Round 3
2011-12 Belleville Bulls 68 35 32 0 1 0.522 Lost in Round 1
2010-11 Belleville Bulls 68 21 43 0 4 0.338 Lost in Round 1
2009-10 Belleville Bulls 68 20 40 0 8 0.353 Out of playoffs
2008-09 Belleville Bulls 68 47 17 0 4 0.721 Lost in Round 3
2007-08 Belleville Bulls 68 48 14 0 6 0.750 Lost in Finals
2006-07 Belleville Bulls 68 39 24 0 5 0.610 Lost in Round 3
2005-06 Belleville Bulls 68 32 28 0 8 0.529 Lost in Round 1
2004-05 Belleville Bulls 68 29 29 6 4 0.500 Lost in Round 1

Source: Hamilton Bulldogs

sradley@thespec.com

905-526-2440 | @radleyatthespec

Spectator columnist Scott Radley hosts The Scott Radley Show weeknights from 7-9 on 900CHML

Steve Staios fires George Burnett and takes over as general manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs

The immediate future of the Hamilton Bulldogs now rides on the hockey decisions of the team’s rookie president

Sports Apr 04, 2016 by Scott Radley The Hamilton Spectator

When the Hamilton Bulldogs unveiled their new uniforms the other day, the underlying message was this is now a truly local team. It may technically be the remnants of the old Bulls, but Belleville Shmellville. This is all about Hamilton now. The past is 401 East. The present is 403 West.

Turns out that fashion statement was just the beginning. The second black-and-gold shoe dropped on Monday.

In a move that further Hamiltonizes the franchise and puts an even deeper local stamp on the organization, incumbent general manager and head coach George Burnett — who'd come with the team when it arrived last spring — was shown the door. Replacing him as GM is president Steve Staios who, you might recall, is a product of this city.

The only way this team could be more Hamilton today is if it played its games at a steel mill, changed its logo to a cartoon of Evelyn Dick's face and had the players' water bottles filled with Tim Hortons double doubles.

The new head coach will be announced later. Don't be shocked if he's a local, too.

There had been rumblings in some corners over the past months that Staios might be positioning himself to eventually taken over this position. He'd been spending a lot of time watching minor hockey games, something not all team presidents do.

Remember too, he had been in player development with the Maple Leafs before coming home, so working with young players is an area of interest. As a result, the fact that he has put himself in this position isn't necessarily a shock. In some ways it seemed inevitable.

But not necessarily right now. If there's a surprise in all this, it's the timing. If Burnett was going to be sent on his way, you might have expected the axe to fall immediately after the season ended when the team missed the playoffs. Didn't happen. Now we're less than a week from the OHL draft in which the Bulldogs have the fourth overall pick and need to hit a home run, and he's sent packing.

That key pick is now the new guy's call.

Say this for Staios, he's obviously not intimidated. To the contrary, he's clearly confident in his abilities to handle broader responsibilities after just 10 months on the job. Not only did he and owner Michael Andlauer just dismiss the man who was his first coach in junior hockey — Burnett was behind the bench when Staios landed with the Niagara Falls Thunder in 1990 — but he's put himself fully in control of a team that's positioned to contend in a year or two if the right moves are made.

Until now, success or failure on the business side was his responsibility. Now success or failure everywhere is on him. It's a bold step for essentially a rookie president.

But boy, does it ever make it feel like this team is now all about Hamilton.

George Burnett's record as head coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs/Belleville Bulls:

Season Team GP W L T OTL Pct. Result
2015-16 Hamilton Bulldogs 68 25 35 8 0 0.426 Out of playoffs
2014-15 Belleville Bulls 68 27 33 0 8 0.456 Lost in Round 1
2013-14 Belleville Bulls 68 23 38 0 7 0.390 Out of playoffs
2012-13 Belleville Bulls 68 44 16 0 8 0.706 Lost in Round 3
2011-12 Belleville Bulls 68 35 32 0 1 0.522 Lost in Round 1
2010-11 Belleville Bulls 68 21 43 0 4 0.338 Lost in Round 1
2009-10 Belleville Bulls 68 20 40 0 8 0.353 Out of playoffs
2008-09 Belleville Bulls 68 47 17 0 4 0.721 Lost in Round 3
2007-08 Belleville Bulls 68 48 14 0 6 0.750 Lost in Finals
2006-07 Belleville Bulls 68 39 24 0 5 0.610 Lost in Round 3
2005-06 Belleville Bulls 68 32 28 0 8 0.529 Lost in Round 1
2004-05 Belleville Bulls 68 29 29 6 4 0.500 Lost in Round 1

Source: Hamilton Bulldogs

sradley@thespec.com

905-526-2440 | @radleyatthespec

Spectator columnist Scott Radley hosts The Scott Radley Show weeknights from 7-9 on 900CHML