Steve Ott hadn't been at the Buffalo Sabres for too long, but he was here for long enough for the fans to recognize the special brand of grit that he brought to the game. A few of the Die By The Blade writers share their thoughts on Ott.
When Ott first joined the organization I wasn't completely sold on him, and again not sold on him as a captain. He had alright numbers and was always sort of a pest (which can come in handy) but he wasn't a superstar like this team needed. However, he quickly won over the city with his hard work ethic. Buffalo and the rest of Upstate NY loves the hard worker and Ott was guaranteed to put that work in every night. Nolan has forced everyone to step up in that department but even still, it was clear Ott was probably the hardest working guy on the team. That’s something this team and city will miss.
When I was growing up, watching the Sabres and Amerks with my Bruins Fan Mom, I gravitated toward the blue collar guys. The guys who seemed to understand that they were grown men playing a child's game; quite literally living the dream. I gravitated toward the players with personality, quite often what we would probably consider the goons now. I gradually moved away from this, but always noted that the Sabres missed that element - the personality, the character of being a hockey player. And in skated Steve Ott.
I didn't know a lot about him, mostly what I had read along the lines of hockey gossip, and what friends had filled me in on. I loved him off the bat because he wasn't Derek Roy. Then I loved him because he's a wonderful person, and the personality and character that every team needs. We talk a lot about compete and what players need to do versus what they are doing and demonstrating. You don't find heart, on or off the ice, like Steve Ott possesses. From blowing a Maple Leaf a kiss on ice to licking the face mask of an opponent, Steve Ott stole my heart. Hearing about his breathtaking generosity and love of life off of the ice was the icing on my cake. I have seen all sorts of comments about him being involved in this trade, and the one that stuck out was that he can only be described as "a man," that there is nothing remarkable about him. I will always beg to differ. He is so much more, and Buffalo will likely not find another human being that will ever come close to replacing him. St Louis has gotten a leader, a kind, generous man, and a true asset to the Blues locker room in every way.
Steve Ott was the picturesque Sabre. He was tough, gritty, and a leader. Even though his stint was much shorter, Ott also became a fan favorite. I remember the first day he was traded to Buffalo. He tweeted out a picture of him wearing Sabres gear and changed his icon and his Twitter background to the Sabres logo. I think he won a lot of people over just with that. He may not have been the perfect captain in some people's eyes, but he made the most of it. If he wants to come back in the offseason at the right price, I'd be all for it.
While Ott hadn't been here too long, it was enough time for me to decide he was exactly the kind of player I liked and wanted on my team. I can't say I was thrilled to have him as the team captain because of his pretty erratic behavior at times, there is no doubt he is a leader of men and was needed in the Sabres locker room. I would love for him to go win the Cup with the Blues and then bring that veteran Cup-winning presence back to the Sabres sometime down the line.
You've heard from us, folks, now it's your turn. Give us your thoughts on Steve Ott's time as a Sabre or leave any favorite memories in the comments.