Kapanen and Ott Accept Stars Qualifying Offers
August 11, 2005
Both Players Return to Dallas for 2005-06
FRISCO, Tex. -- Dallas Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that center Niko Kapanen and forward Steve Ott have accepted the club's one-year qualifying offers for 2005-06. Per club policy, no financial terms were disclosed.
"Niko and Steve bring an element of youth and versatility to our hockey club and we're glad to have them back," said Armstrong. "We look for them to be solid contributors in 2005-06."
Kapanen, 27, played in 44 games with EV Zug of the Swiss National League in 2004-2005, tallying 10 goals and 33 assists for 43 points. He ranked first on the team in assists and second in points. During nine playoff games with EV Zug, Kapanen tied for the team-high in assists (5) and points (7).
In 2003-04 with Dallas, Kapanen collected six points (1-5-6) in 67 regular season games and one goal in one playoff contest against Colorado. In 158 career NHL games (all with the Stars), he has registered six goals and 35 assists for 41 points. The 5-9, 180-pound center has also recorded eight points (5-3-8) in 13 career playoff outings.
During his first full NHL season in 2002-03, Kapanen appeared in 82 games and registered five goals and 29 assists for 34 points with 44 penalty minutes and a +25 rating. Among NHL rookies that year, he finished first in assists, first in plus/minus, tied for first in shorthanded goals (1), tied for first in shorthanded points (1) and fifth in scoring. The Hattula, Finland native appeared in the 2003 Topps/Youngstars Game in Florida on Feb. 1, 2003 and was the only player on the Western Conference to record a "plus" rating (+1).
Ott, 22, appeared in 67 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL), collecting 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points with 279 penalty minutes. Among team leaders, he ranked first in penalty minutes, fourth in goals and fifth in points.
During the 2003-04 season with the Stars, Ott played in 73 games and notched 12 points (2-10-12) with a team-high 152 penalty minutes. The 6-0, 185-pound forward tallied the overtime game-winner in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals vs. Colorado on April 12, 2004. With that overtime goal, he became the 24th player in NHL history and the first player in Stars franchise history to have his first playoff point come as an overtime game-winner.
Dallas' first round selection (25th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Ott has appeared in 99 career NHL games, recording 19 points (5-14-19) with 183 penalty minutes.