Ex-Star Ott surprised, touched by video tribute

St. Louis Blues center Steve Ott played for the Dallas Stars from 2002-2012.

Jerome Miron/Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS – Many fans and opposing players for that matter around the National Hockey League might not think much of Steve Ott, but during his long run with the Dallas Stars, No. 29 or "Otter" as he was known was a huge fan favorite.

The reasons for his immense appeal are not hard to pin down. For one, Ott was a homegrown guy, someone the Stars drafted and developed. Two, he was someone who was never afraid to drop the gloves, chirp at an opponent or do whatever else it took to get under their skin. And three, Ott was a guy who always fought for the name on the front of his jersey, which won him instant cred with the passionate Stars fanbase.

Last season, the Stars honored ex-captain Brenden Morrow, who was then with the St. Louis Blues, with a great video tribute that even got No. 10 a bit choked up on the St. Louis bench during a Blues visit back to Big D.

And on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center, with the Blues again visiting, they did the same for No. 29, playing a video montage during a break in the first period showing everything from him being drafted to some of his more memorable moments with the Stars.

In the Blues locker room postgame, Ott talked about the video.

"It was a first-class organization when I played there and it will be for a long, long time. It just was another testament to the community, the fans, the organization. Obviously, it’ll hold a piece of my heart forever and they always will be, but priorities wise, I know where I stand now and who I’m battling for," Ott said.

But even he admits he had no idea that the organization that had drafted him and who he made his NHL debut for was planning such a fitting tribute beforehand, so naturally it was a nice surprise, a montage which elicited a huge ovation from the fans, something the affable agitator returned with an appreciative wave to those in attendance at the AAC on Tuesday evening.

"No, I didn’t (know they were doing it beforehand)," Ott said. "Honestly, it was really a first-class gesture. It really was. I was shocked and the reception you get from the fans that probably are not going to be cheering for me the rest of the way, but it was nice to say kind of a goodbye and a hello at the same time and a thank you from my end as well. I really enjoyed my time here."