While the rest of the NHL sat in trade limbo on Monday, Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier pulled the trigger on a deal that added some much needed sandpaper to the Sabres lineup. Regier acquired rugged forward Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy from the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward veteran center Derek Roy.
When reached by phone at his home in Windsor, Ont., the enthusiasm in Ott's voice was obvious as he spoke about coming to Buffalo.
"I’m excited for the new opportunity. I’m a guy that loves a good challenge, loves the excitement of a new possibility, a new beginning, and to start off in a new uniform. I couldn’t be happier with where I’m headed and where I’m gonna go with a first-class organization."LISTEN TO OTT'S FULL INTERVIEW WITH SABRES.COM
Regier said that by acquiring Ott, they immediately fill a void up up front.
"I think more than anything else we needed to move the balance of skill versus the physical nature of our game, and become a tougher team to play against. Steve can play and complement the higher skilled guys and contribute in a lot of different ways. I think that he will be very valuable for us."LISTEN TO THE FULL AUDIO FROM REGIER'S PRESS CONFERENCE
One of Ott's closest friends is Sabres defenseman Mike Weber. Not only do the two live close to each other and workout together in the offseason, but Weber lived with Ott's family when he played junior hockey with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires. Weber was the first person to speak with Ott about the trade.
"He called me right away and was extremely excited. I could barely understand the words that were coming out of his mouth. He’s extremely excited to get a new start. Obviously he had a huge fan base in Dallas, and that’s always a tough transition especially with him playing there for nine years. But he was so excited about the new opportunity and coming to Buffalo."
Ott (6’0”, 190 lbs., 8/19/82) had 39 points (11+28) and 156 penalty minutes in 74 games with the Stars in the 2011-12 season. A native of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Ott was selected by Dallas in the first round (25th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. In 566 career games with the Stars, he has totaled 220 points (85+135) and 1,170 penalty minutes.
The 29-year-old Ott was fourth in the NHL last season with 278 hits in 74 games. He said Sabres fans can expect more of the same when he gets to Buffalo.
"It’s something I pride myself in, being at the top of leading the league in hits every single year playing a physical, hard, complete style of game. That’s what I want to bring, I’m not changing my style. That’s something I want to do, I want to be as consistent as possible, playing a mix of hard hockey with some skill set along with it."
Now entering his fifth NHL season, Pardy (6’4”, 220 lbs., 3/29/84) spent three seasons with the Calgary Flames before joining the Stars in 2011-12. Selected by the Flames in the sixth round (173rd overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the Bonavista, Newfoundland native has recorded 29 points (4+25) and 157 penalty minutes in 183 career games.