ST. LOUIS — He was the "other" part of the trade that brought supposed netminding-savior Ryan Miller to St. Louis. But Miller is gone and Steve Ott remains, having signed a two-year unrestricted free-agent contract with the Blues, the team announced Thursday.
Along with Miller, Ott, 31, arrived from Buffalo on Feb. 28 as the Blues made the deal to help spark a deep playoff run. Turns out neither player helped the Blues get any farther in the postseason than they had in recent years, but Ott did provide grit at forward and success on faceoffs, though not much scoring.
Ott produced only three assists — no goals — in 23 regular-season games, followed by two assists — again, no goals — in six playoff games.
"He’s a really strong utility player," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said at a press conference Thursday. "Obviously, he’s going to want to get that first goal as much as we’re going to want him to get that off his back. But I think we all saw what type of competitor he was in the playoffs. He was in a lot of scoring chances."
Many of Ott’s contributions don’t show up on the stat sheet — not the least of which is what Armstrong called "a real strong component of nastiness."
"It’s important to have that type of grit and determination in our lineup," he said. "… I like having a little bit of sandpaper in there, and talking to the coach (Ken Hitchcock), he likes that element also."
The 6-foot, 189-pound Ott is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons, including stints with Dallas, Buffalo and St. Louis. He has compiled 267 points (103 goals, 164 assists) and 1,355 penalty minutes (which ranks sixth among active skaters) in 696 career regular-season games. His postseason record includes six appearances, 40 games, seven points (three goals, four assists) and 46 penalty minutes.