Taking a break from all the “Rick Nash to the New York Rangers” rumors for a second, let’s examine another cheaper alternative — Dallas Stars’ forward Steve Ott.
With Dallas two points outside of a playoff berth, GM Joe Nieuwendyk is in a precarious position: does he shed some salary for picks and prospects or acquire talent to make a playoff push? The trade deadline is five days away and time may not be the ultimate deciding factor.
If Dallas does choose to jettison some of their players, center Steve Ott could be an option for team looking for grit, physicality, and a bit of scoring–everything the New York Rangers could use if Rick Nash isn’t an option.
Sean Hartnett of CBS New York has an article today championing Glen Sather to acquire Ott’s services as an experienced veteran that can help the Blueshirts in a number of facets. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Ott is exactly the kind of player who can help solidify the Rangers and provide the amount of grit needed to throw a team like the Penguins off their game. His agitating style gets under the skin of opponents and he ranks 5th in the entire NHL with 201 hits. Ott is also an excellent face-off man with a percentage near 57% and has collected a respectable 27 points in 54 games including 4 power play goals.
The 29-year-old grinder would replace the personality left behind by Sean Avery. While no one is questioning whether the Rangers are “tough,” they don’t have that player that can throw the opponents off their game.
Ott’s contract isn’t the most desirable at the deadline either because he wouldn’t be a rental–he’s signed through the 2013-14 season at a $2.95 cap-hit. It’s a manageable number, however, its a question of by acquiring Ott do the Rangers see him as a compliment to the team’s short-term success?
Going into next season with players such as Ruslan Fedotenko and Sean Avery coming off the books, Ott would be an upgrade over both players. Currently, Fedotenko is still dealing with an undisclosed injury suffered by Dominic Moore several games ago.
If Fedotenko isn’t retuning to the lineup in the near future, then Steve Ott becomes a more desirable option for the Rangers.
The most obvious point is, while Ott would compliment the Rangers identity of a physical, shot-blocking team and make them better at the face-off dot, he’s not a goal scorer and that’s exactly what the team needs.
Plus, as evidenced by the Kyle Quincey, Steve Downie and Antoine Vermette trades, the Stars could fetch a nice return for Ott as teams are slightly overpaying in the current market (could be a sign heading towards Feb 27).
The Rangers may not be willing to part with more than a mid-level prospect and mid-round draft pick to acquire him.
Bottom Line: Steve Ott is a nice option for a team looking for depth at center while adding some experience and grit. However, on the Rangers, they have enough bottom-six forwards and adding to their offense is more of a priority.
Crazy to think i haven’t published an article in nearly a week due to a combination of server updates and a bout with a stomach virus, but alas I’m back.