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Outgoing Ott made impact on Stars organization, fans

Tuesday, 07.3.2012 / 11:28 AM CT / News
By Daryl Reaugh
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Outgoing Ott made impact on Stars organization, fans

Players come and players go, but some - the rare ones - connect.

They connect with the most valuable area of any professional sports organization - the fans.

Steve Ott made that connection like a magnet to metal.

As a Dallas Star he was the epitome of that player 'you hate if he's on the opposing team, love if he's on yours'. I couldn't count on a gargantuan abacus the number of times he 'woke up' one of those god-awful late January games or invigorated a stolid atmosphere at a mid-week home game with his style of play.

And when the games were of the rivalry variety he was usually at his competitive, nasty, impactful, irritating best. Just pull any or all tilts vs the San Jose Sharks for examples. If Sharks can do cartwheels, they are doing them today.

On the ice for the Stars he was excellent at getting opposing players to focus on him instead of their own jobs, able to bridge the gap between instigator and skill player, and in recent years has been a go-to face-off guy and a core penalty killer. But he was also a bit miscast as a top-six forward here recently. He doesn't have that abundance of natural offensive ability that a top-six guy should have and his propensity to find himself in the penalty box tends to detonate the line he's on. I like him in a third-line role and I bet that's where he slots in with the Sabres. Just hope the body can hold up, cause his style of play is hard on it.

Off the ice he was one of the more community-involved Stars during the club's 20 years in Big D. Always quick to donate his time, he was the Stars Stick with Reading Spokesman - taking the torch from Marty Turco - and he gleefully took time to greet each home game's Stick Kid at the end of the pre-game skate.

With the media he was a notebook filler and a microphone lover -- unless your last name is Edwards.

With Stars fans he was charming and approachable. They are going to miss that side of him, as well as Ott's 20 minutes of on-ice mayhem and the accompanying evil cherub demeanor. I think he fed off them as much as they fed off him and his full-bore, at times almost cartoonish style of play.

All of those stuffed toy Otters you'd see at games will now be relegated to a shelf somewhere, he's off to Buffalo, where he'll surely become an instant hit as he hits, goads, verbally assaults, and competes hard against the Eastern Conference. He's no doubt thinking, "fresh meat." Remember, this is the guy who learned to chirp players in about 5 different languages as preparation for The World Junior Championships.

And so Stars fans, my advice to you: Go ahead and use your 'Ott words' -- both as a coping mechanism and for old times sake -- and then try to move on.

Otter has.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 8 5 7 7 12
J. Spezza 8 4 5 0 9
C. Eakin 8 0 7 3 7
A. Goligoski 8 3 2 -3 5
P. Eaves 7 2 3 3 5
P. Sharp 8 3 1 2 4
R. Faksa 8 2 2 2 4
J. Klingberg 8 1 3 -2 4
A. Hemsky 8 1 3 2 4
M. Janmark 7 1 3 0 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 4 1 0 .906 2.45
A. Niemi 1 2 2 .892 2.73
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