Unrestricted free agent Steve Ott has decided to sign elsewhere. Surprisingly, it was not as a player. The St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong announced earlier today that the Blues have named Ott as their new Assistant Coach for this upcoming season. With Mike Yeo taking over for Ken Hitchcock, it is to no-one’s surprise that the Blues are making changes to their coaching staff. The 34-year-old will be making his return to St. Louis after spending 3 seasons with them between 2013 and 2016.
Ott’s short time with the Montreal Canadiens will be his last tenure of his 14-year career as a player, barring a surprise return in the future. He will be finishing his career with 109 goals, 179 assists, 288 points and a whopping 1555 penalty minutes in 848 games. Although his final stat line was nothing special, fulfilling an important role with several teams for 14 years is still something to be very proud of. Ott enjoyed time with 5 different teams during his career, including the Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and the aforementioned St.Louis Blues and Montreal Canadiens.
A fair amount of people were hoping Ott would return to the Habs next season to fill out the 4th line. Although he only had 1 assist in 11 regular season games plus 6 more playoff games, Ott was very good on the penalty kill and knew how to spark the team with his hard hitting and gritty play. Also, although only spending 17 games with the Canadiens, Ott instantly became loved by most Habs fans due to his likable personality and his common on-ice antics.
With that being said, we wish Steve Ott all the best in his coaching career. The transition from player to coach should be no problem for him, as he a very good man who is liked by many. He should be able to play a coaching role similar to that of Kirk Muller, meaning that his communication skills with the players will go a long way. With a long journey ahead of him, Ott will hopefully enjoy a long and successful coaching career in the NHL.