Heavy Hearts and Happy Sharks

This is going one of the hardest goodbye posts I’ve ever written, because Steve Ott meant more to me (and many Stars fans) than the average player does.  Players come and go; it’s part of the business. But few truly impacted and envigorated the Dallas Stars fanbase the way Steve Ott managed to.

When GM Joe traded Otter and Adam Pardy (side note: HALLELUJAH!), he traded away one of the best pests in the league, a guy that everyone would grudgingly admit to wanting on their team. In doing so, he broke many fans hearts including my own.  However, even though the move is incredibly tough to handle, it’s the right one for a team that’s moving on from its old guard onto brighter places.

The fact of the matter is, though, that Nieuwendyk has traded away two members of the team’s core: Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro. It’s hard to part ways with enjoyable players and wonderful men, and that’s why it’s good to take a look back on the remarkable times we spent with them. I did this for Ribs; now, it’s Otter’s turn, and this one will be even harder to get through.

Steve Ott was a literal spark. He could always get players going, teammates and opponents alike. A first round draft pick by the Stars in 2000, Otter developed and changed as a player over the years. He started off as a gritty instigator/pest with a cherubic face  and evolved into a key faceoff man (our best, actually) and penalty killer. Otter managed what many players like him have never quite been able to acheive: become the pest who doubles as a skill player.

Some of Steve Ott’s best on-ice moments involve him trolling his opponents, always hilariously. Here you have a guy who’s dedicated to his craft–Ott learned certain phrases in other languages so that he could properly chirp foreigners.  But later in his Stars career, starting in about the 2008-09 season to be exact, he broke out and put up numbers we never thought we’d see from him.

Otter off the ice was a different story. He was incredibly active in the community, donating his time to the Stars’ Stick with Reading program, and was a fan favorite because he was so genuine and approachable. That’s not to mention the fact that they meant just as much to him. Watching Ott with the kiddos constantly made my heart melt and my ovaries explode. With the media, Steve Ott was always guaranteed to be a fantastic interview. While Ott has always been entertaining on the ice, it’s this side that I will miss most about him.

Here are just a few of my favorite moments of Otter in a Stars sweater…

The Sharks Hate Steve Ott

The Last Stars Hat Trick

Ott vs. Giroux and Laviolette

Otter Scores the OT Winner in One of the Best Games Ever

Otter is Asked Why He Fights

In Steve Ott the Sabres get a guy who plays harder than anyone and cares so much about the name on the front of his sweater. They’re lucky to have him; I’m lucky to have had him.

Thank you for always putting a smile on my face, Otter.

I’ll miss you more than you’ll ever know.

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