Potential trade target: Steve Ott

February 25, 2014, by
Abelimages/Getty Images North America

Abelimages/Getty Images North America

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.


  1. Steven Cifuentes says:

    Another Ryan Clowe? Good locker room intagible guy….look how that worked out. Rangers need more talent and have the grit covered.

    • Dave says:

      They needed Clowe at last year’s deadline, it was just a shame he got hurt. This year’s needs are different. Can’t really compare last year’s deadline to this year’s.

      • Chris F says:

        Thanks, Dave.

        I’m so sick of people ripping on the Clowe trade simply because of the end result, I.e. his injuries and Devils overpayment.

        It was a good trade at the time which addressed an important need. Let’s not forget Clowe put up excellent numbers to finish the season with NY and Rangers became one of the League’s best teams after his acquisition.

        • Mr. Snrub says:

          I am of the opinion that the best playoff game for NYR last year was probably Game 3, the lone game that Clowe played start to finish. His size and grit made the Torts forecheck work better towards the end of that season and in that particular game, I’d argue.

          I’d further argue that the Boston series ends in 6 or 7 if we had Clowe to match up to Boston’s size, and that it may have even been a winnable series. A bit of conjecture, but I think there’s truth in it.

          • Steven Cifuentes says:

            I did not mean look how that turned out, meaning a bad trade. I mean the injuries in the playoffs and not re-signing him because of it.

            I actually liked the trade also. Did not mean to imply he was a bad move.

            And I agree this year we do not need this type of player.

            • Chris F says:

              Understood, Steve.

              It was a good trade worth making at the time that yielded short – term gains but unfortunately didn’t fulfill longterm hopes.

              And, though it was appropriate at the time, this year brings it’s own set of specific needs.

          • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

            I agree 100%. I think Clowe got hurt again in game 3 last year and only played a shift or two. I could be wrong but I think Clowe played just over a min in the playoffs last season. Had we had him for the Boston series it’s definately a 6 or 7 game series. No doubt. I think had the Rangers gotten a good playoffs from Nash. They could have won that series in 7 if Clowe were healthy. Clowe can score those greasy goals in front as well as police the game. We played that series short handed.

  2. Bloomer says:

    The asking price for Ott would be prospects and draft choices. The Rangers aren’t all that deep in future talent, therefore I would pass.

  3. SalMerc says:

    Don’t make a trade for the sake of making a trade. Bring back a top 6 forward or a power-play quarterback. Otherwise, tweaking the 3rd and 4th line folks won’t really change our team.

  4. Walt says:

    Complimentary player, that we don’t need, I’d pass as well.

    Whatever happened to Stewart for Callie talk, is that a dead issue????? He would bring everything Ott does, plus some!!!!!

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      I would love to get Stewart but not for Callahan. The Rangers could trade Boyle. I don’t see how we need him and Dom Moore in the same lineup. Both do the same think yet Moore is faster & better at handling the puck. I also think the Rangers could live without Hagelin. AV doesn’t seem to know how to use him offensively. His speed is an asset but the Rangers have a ton of it. Sather said teams were calling about Boyle during the offseason and training camp. So send one or both of them for Stewart & a Center for face offs. Or a mid round pick.

  5. Josh says:

    There are a couple of aspects your missing in Ott.

    1. He is a center, which my first reaction is it gives Richards the ability to move back to the wing, where he was very successful earlier in season.

    2. He would give the top 6 more stability in winning face offs. Currently Boyle/Moore lead the centers in winning % Ott over the last 4 years has had a winning % of 51%, 56%, 56% and 57%.

    • Dave says:

      Centers can play wing, it’s not a difficult transfer. It would give them flexibility, but that doesn’t mean he’s a top-six forward on this team.

      Yes, his face offs are good, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he’s a complimentary player that the team doesn’t need.

      • Walt says:

        Well said Dave!!!

        What do you think of the Stewart potential trade for Callie, that would make much more sense to me???????

        • AD says:

          That does make sense to me as well. I would be satisfied with that trade and hopeful Stewart would prove himself worthy of a longer-term contract after next season.

        • Dave says:

          No, not at all. Don’t want Stewart. He’s not the answer.

          • AD says:

            What type of player would you prefer to see in the lineup? I was thinking we need more size within our forward unit.

            • Dave says:

              I think a guy like Cammalleri works at the right price. The Cally/Girardi situations are throwing this all for a loop though.

              • Ray says:

                I don’t get this. Cammalleri is scoring at about the same rate as Hagelin, the eighth best scorer of the Rangers’ top nine.

          • Scully says:

            Thank you. Glad someone said this. Other people’s players do tend to look more enticing than our own. That’s just how being a fan works.

  6. AD says:

    This was a very sound evaluation of whether Ott would be additive to team needs, and I concur he would not be. More importantly, though, I don’t believe the Rangers should be looking to acquire any rentals, at all; and should only be a seller of rentals should those players not be resigned prior to the trade deadline.

    With Zuccarella out for a few weeks, Staal’s playing status questionable near-term, and a challenging 6 games ahead of us coming back from the break (Chicago, Bruins, Flyers, Detroit & Carolina 2x), the club is in a precarious spot, and in no position to be thinking of adding rentals for a run at the Stanley Cup.

    I wish it were otherwise, but it doesn’t seem that way to me. Time to make moves which improve the team for the next season and longer.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks, much appreciated.

      I think if Ott filled a need they would go for him. Problem is he doesn’t. He’s going to make a contender fairly happy as long as expectations are kept in check.

      He’s just not a fit for NYR based on the team needs.

  7. George says:

    I feel that The rangers should go after Bobby Ryan if sens are willing to trade him. 30 goal scorer with decent size

  8. Ray says:

    Do you think the Rangers should try to sign TJ Hensick as a depth move if they still have roster space at the deadline?

    • Chris F says:

      Do you mean sign him to stay on with Hartford after this year, or are you talking about a role for him with the NHL club?

  9. Chris F says:

    JT Miller recalled from Hartford, presumably to fill Zuccarello’s spot.

    JT has been producing at a PPG rate in Hartford. He’s ready for another chance and I sincerely hope he excels. Love watching him play when he’s on.

  10. FrankCerbone says:

    Could see Rangers getting Ott as 3rd line center for next season with Lindberg or Dominic Moore as a 4th line center. What would Ott cost is the issue.

    Ott, Carcillo, Dorsett will all drop the gloves, but are not even in Michael Haley’s league

  11. Jim says:

    Wouldn’t mind the Rangers acquiring Chris Neil if he is available and the price is right.

    • Mark says:

      Now he would make a difference on this team if he played half as well as he does against the Rangers in the playoffs. Just a guess but you cannot give more than a lower/mid prospect and a 3rd rounder though for him. IF Callahan were involved in this trade there would have to be much more coming back.

  12. FrankCerbone says:

    Ott & a 2nd rd pick for Callahan?

    Young tough guy of Islanders Matt Martin for Callahan? Martin, best NHL bodychecker, good fighter, under team control for like 2 more years

    Cam Atkinson of Columbus, a young, productive, durable, smallish RW for Callahan?

  13. tomb says:

    those of you wanting Stewart don’t know him very well. he is very inconsistent and not that good.