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Steve Ott named Blues assistant coach

Forward had seven points this season, played for St. Louis from 2013-16

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Steve Ott was named an assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues on Thursday and ended his NHL playing career after 14 seasons.

The 34-year-old, who played for the Blues from 2013-16, signed a three-year contract.

"To be honest with you, it wasn't as tough as probably most [players]," the forward said of his decision. "I'm real proud of my career and I know it's time. I feel like at this situation in my career I've kind of been prepping for the last few years, to say the least, and kind of mentoring players. When you do so, and you work with some of the coaches I've had before, it's a role for me that's been building.

"Obviously it's going to feel a lot better on my body going forward."

Ott signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 1 and had seven points (three goals, four assists) in 53 games with the Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens this season. He had no points in six Stanley Cup Playoff games. His final game was Montreal's 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round on April 22.

He had 288 points (109 goals, 179 assists) and 1,555 penalty minutes in 848 NHL games in 14 seasons with the Canadiens, Red Wings, Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars. He was selected by the Stars in the first round (No. 25) of the 2000 NHL Draft.

Ott joins Darryl Sydor, who was hired Wednesday, on Mike Yeo's coaching staff. The Blues are replacing assistants Rick Wilson, Ray Bennett and Steve Thomas, and goalie development coach Ty Conklin.

"Steve was a competitor on the ice as a player and I expect him to bring that energy in this role," Yeo said in a statement. "He was highly respected as a player and a person among his teammates, and I believe he will be a huge asset to our staff."

Of the 23 players on the final Blues roster this season, Ott was a teammate of 20 of them.

"Me and [St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong] have talked a few times seeing where I'm at in my career and kind of going forward," Ott said. "We talked there last week and started to feel, what's the next best situation? Quite frankly, I told him it was time.

"With the knowing of St. Louis and what I feel about the organization, the opportunity to grow and learn under Mike Yeo I think is a big thing for me as well and my next step in my career. I don't know Mike that well. We've had some great chats. ... The respect I have for him obviously is very high."

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