Thanks to Stars43 for the heads up. TSN recently aired a top-ten show featuring the best agitators in NHL history, and our own lovable Steve Ott was named the 3rd-best. For some perspective, the top ten was (in order from ten to one): Eddie Shack, Darcy Tucker, Dale Hunter, Billy Smith, Claude Lemieux, Sean Avery, Ken Linsemen, Otter, Bryan Watson, and Matthew Barnaby. Never before has one list generated 17,536 penalty minutes, but here we are.
As Stars fans, we've all had to defend Steve Ott from other fans at one point or another. Ott's antics haven't really earned him love from opposing fanbases, and he's generally lumped with the likes of Dan Carcillo or even Avery. We Stars fans know Steve Ott isn't a goon, but try telling that to St. Louis fans or Edmonton fans. Criticism of Steve Ott just comes with the package. (Example: I typed in "steve ott" in the tagging widget for this post, and the first suggestion is "steve ott is an ass". Case in point.)
So it's nice to hear praise for Otter's style of play every once and awhile, and this TSN segment is chock full of high regard for him.
Former Ambassador of Fun and current Top Golf great, Brett Hull:
He'll get right there, and he'll take you to the edge, and then he'll just smile at you. And that's when you can see, when you look at the other player, the steam that's coming out of their ears like a cartoon character. He wants to rip (Ott's) head off, because (Ott) has that little smirk that's enough to drive you insane.
More quotes from the segment after the jump....
(Quotes courtesy TSN)
Former Star Pat Verbeek:
He's abrasive. I mean he comes your way and he doesn't care who you are, he's gonna run you over.
Former Star Matthew Barnaby:
I played with Otter for one year in Dallas, almost like a little bit of an apprenticeship. And he's got it going. He infuriates guys. He'll say things that are cutthroat, he finishes every check, he plays very hard, he'll fight and we're seeing him score goals. So he's one of my favorites.
Pierre McGuire, who I've noticed has a fascination with the captain of the Flames:
One of the things he does is drive Jarome Iginla nuts. He goes after Jarome Iginla all the time. For some reason, Ott knows how to take him just to the point where Jarome does go off.
I think when he first came (into the league), he was always going a little overboard, always trying to get something going. I know just working with teams doing games as a broadcaster, there's a ton of players that would just talk about Steve Ott.
And finally, TSN analyst Bob McKenzie finishes up by saying Ott "is probably as smart as it as just about anybody in the NHL."
We love you, Otter. Check out the full video, by the way. Good stuff to fill the hockey offseason doldrums. And thanks again to Stars43 for the heads up!