Several days before the NHL Trade Deadline, the Blues acquired goalie Ryan Miller
and forward Steve Ott
from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Jaroslav Halak
, Chris Stewart
, prospect William Carrier and two draft picks. Both Miller and Ott are considered important pieces in helping to elevate the Blues to being serious contenders in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Ott, who has played in 679 NHL games with Dallas Stars, Buffalo and now St. Louis, brings a versatile game with plenty of physicality, tenacity and drive.
We took a few minutes to learn more about Ott after practice on Wednesday. Here is our Q&A, which includes questions about his trade to St. Louis, fitting in with the Blues and some fun personal questions.
STLOUISBLUES.COM: We're sure it's never easy to leave teammates, but when you’re told you had been traded to St. Louis, you had to be pretty excited about the opportunity.
STEVE OTT: Completely. There’s nothing more exciting than going to a winning team and having a chance to be successful. You always want to have a group of teammates that you can just gel with, and it was extremely easy to come in here from day one.
BLUES: Knowing Brenden Morrow, Ken Hitchcock and Doug Armstrong from your time in Dallas – does that help a lot with the transition?
OTT: It does. It really makes things extremely easy when you’ve had a general manager that you were extremely close to in Doug Armstrong, a coach that kinda pushed you when you were at young age in training camps with Ken Hitchcock, and also a teammate in Rob DiMiao (Blues Director of Pro Scouting), who I’ve seen a few times. And you look at your teammates that you played with before. Brenden Morrow was one of my best friends in hockey and still to this day, we’ve kept close contact. To have an opportunity to play with each other, there’s nothing better than that.
BLUES: Describe your game and the type of player you are to fans in St. Louis.
OTT: I try to be a very versatile player and play in all different situations and play hard hockey. I try to be as competitive as I possibly can out there, and I just want to help contribute in any facet as well. If that’s power play, penalty killing, physicality wise – I think that’s something that I pride myself on in trying to show up every single night.
BLUES: You’ve been here for several games now. Is St. Louis a good fit for you?
OTT: I think it’s a great fit. This strong group has taken me in easily and comfortably. I couldn’t ask for any more than that.
BLUES: What kind of music is on your iPod right now?
OTT: Everything. From a big country guy like Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan all the way to hip hop of Eminem and a lot of old school rap like Dre, Biggie and Tupac as well.
BLUES: Your Twitter profile says you’re loved by many, hated by many more. What’s it like to live with that reputation?
OTT: I’ve always been a big believer that you’re loved to be hated. I honestly think wherever you go, you’ll have people that can’t stand you at first but maybe will respect you later on. I pride myself in being a good teammate and a good person. Hopefully it all translates into being loved at the end of it all.
BLUES: Is it true you race boats, specifically kneel down hydroplanes?
OTT: I used to. My dad is a professional boat racer in the American Power Boat Association. We’ve been doing it for a lot of years and I actually had to give it up when I was about 17 obviously to continue my dream of playing hockey. There’s always opportunities to do it later on in life, but I always go and help him out and try to be his pit help as much as I possibly can during the summer times.
BLUES: So when you’re playing, you don’t participate. Is it dangerous?
OTT: It’s extremely dangerous. A lot of people get injured, and life-threatening stuff as well. It’s something that you have to have in your blood to be able to do it, but I think it’s passed down from my dad.
BLUES: Other than racing on boats, give us a little known fact about you.
OTT: I’ve got no super powers.
BLUES: You’re brought in as part of a deal to help push this team to the next level. Being a piece of a trade like that, is that something you can take a lot of pride in?
OTT: I think the biggest thing is living up to your expectations. I hold myself at a high expectation level. For Ryan (Miller) and myself, there’s nothing better than having your expectations met, and by being met, I mean by winning. It’s a team effort, and you just want to be a small piece of any puzzle that has success, and whenever the team has success, that means that every single individual is having some success, and that’s what we’re here to do.