Over the past few weeks, we spoke how the Rangers might target Mike Cammalleri or Matt Moulson at the trade deadline to fill a need for top-six scoring consistency. It is the only real need for this team since the trade for Kevin Klein, as that trade addressed two needs: toughness on defense, and a right handed shot for the third pairing. With the blue line stabilized, the focus turns to offense.
Ott is a top-six forward for Buffalo, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is actually a top-six forward for the Rangers. What he does add is some of that grit and toughness to a lineup that is lacking in that department, even with healthy versions of Derek Dorsett and Dan Carcillo. But the problem with Ott is that he does not address the need for additional scoring help. He has one 20-goal season, 1 15-goal season, and 3 10-goal seasons in his entire career.
People have (note: not us) have had interest in Ott because they remember that 20-goal season, and know he can be known as a bit of an agitator. He’s not really big (6′ and 200 lbs), but he plays a bit like Chris Neil lite.
His peripherals are skewed a bit because the Sabres are terrible. He has a 42.9% Corsi (-2.0% relative) with just 44.1% of his shifts starting in the offensive zone (after a whistle). He’s facing top competition (29.1% ToTm% QoC), but that’s expected since he’s getting top six minutes in Buffalo. His numbers aren’t exactly terrible, and he would be a good addition if the Rangers needed a depth player.
Therein lies the problem, Ott wouldn’t be filling a need for the Rangers. They have the depth they need, and their fourth line of Dominic Moore-Brian Boyle-Derek Dorsett/Dan Carcillo has been very effective of late. Ott would be a great add if they Rangers needed him for that role. They don’t.
Ott seems to be less likely of a target than Moulson or Cammalleri, but is in the discussion as a rental because he is cheap ($2.95 million), is on an expiring contract, and has those “intangibles” that people “love for the playoffs.” Ott is a good complimentary player, but his destination is likely not New York.