You know how we do it here at BW.com whenever a new guy shows up. We call someone from the brotherhood of Bloguin to dish the dirt. So, we are joined by the boys over at Stars of Big D to talk about Steve Ott and some D-man. Let's get to the questions!
What kind of player are the Sabres getting in Ott?
1) Ott is about as passionate as guy as you'll find in the league. He was the vocal leader of the team and in the eyes of many fans, the true captain of this team over Morrow. You can count on him night in and night out to do whatever it takes to get that win. He gets a lot of beef around the league but that's really for stuff 3-5 years ago. He's had to change his game significantly with the Stars because of their lack of top-six talent and he's played less and less of that agitator role over the last couple of seasons. He was counted on for some more offense and was around the 40 points range.
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
2) With Ott, there's not really a strength or weakness. He did a little of everything for Dallas and he's not overly great or terrible at any one thing. He works the PP (though not too well), PK (one of the leading PK forwards on Dallas) and he'll really throw the body around. He's always at the top of the hit charts for the Stars and led the team the last couple of seasons. He was also our best face-off guy so that's a pretty big loss. He took the important face-offs in the offensive and defensive zones in crunch time.
Weaknesses? Well, he's not going to wow anybody with his offense. He'll mostly get his goals around the net and he benefited a lot from playing with Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn. His production dropped a good amount when he wasn't lined up with them. There's also times when he'll slip back into his annoyance role and take some bad bad penalties.
With Ott being a physical player, do you see with the NHL's rule changes in trying to take away head shots, has that affected his game?
3) Well, all those guys with histories will get a little extra punishment with the league and get looked at a little closer. Ott has been pretty clean the last couple of seasons and has been on the receiving end of more dirty hits than dishing any out. As far as I can recall, he's had no suspensions or fines for the last two seasons. He's had plenty of fights, but nothing truly dirty for a while now. As stated above though, his role had to change with this team. I'm not sure where he'll fit in Buffalo.
Lindy likes two-way players and guys who can control the puck, can Ott fit in his system?
4) Ott was one of the best two-way players on this team, probably just behind Eriksson and Benn in that regard. I'm not too sure about the Sabres roster but Ott works hard on both ends of the ice and doesn't get caught out of position on defense. He covers well for pinching defenders also and crashes the boards. Ott has won around ~55-60% of his face-offs for the Stars for the past five seasons so he helps maintain possession in that regard. He's a pretty good passer, nothing too special and won't give the puck away needlessly. Not a turnover machine.
Will Ott beat up Lucic?
5) He won't turtle. He'll fight Lucic for sure but he's not too great fighting the big power forward types. Can't remember him winning those too many times. He's game to try though.
What are some of the best games Ott has had?
6) There won't be anything too stand-out about Ott. One of the best things I can remember from him is a play specifically designed for him this past season. Less than five seconds in the game, Stars had a face-off just outside the offensive zone against Phoenix. He had to win the face-off and simultaneously pass the puck into the zone to Jamie Benn. He ended up with a perfect pass after winning the face-off and Benn ended up scoring the game tying goal. As for the worst, he will take a lot of penalties and that really screwed up the team at times as they always lost, or got on the wrong side of the momentum train.
Can you tell me anything about this Pardy guy?
You won't like Pardy much at all. He was always out of position on this team and Kari Lehtonen had to bail him out numerous times every game. He won't provide much offense and will look lost a lot. He was sent down to the AHL for the last couple months of the season and Dallas went with young guys instead. He's going to be a big liability if he's anyone above the seventh/eighth guy on the defensive depth chart.