Many Buffalo Sabres fans had mixed reactions to the announcement that Derek Roy was being shipped out to Dallas in exchange for Stars forward Steve Ott. While this move brings physicality and toughness to the lineup on the ice, it also has an underlying importance for both Ott and Sabres defenseman Mike Weber.As a supporter of Weber, I was personally already aware of the connection between the two, and was therefore understandably excited to have Ott in Buffalo. However, not everyone is/was aware of the connection – but here it is.
Weber, 24, was born in Pittsburgh, PA. However, at young age (roughly 15 or 16) and in the middle of his high school years, he made the jump to the Ontario Hockey League, where he’d begin his pro career with the Windsor Spitfires in 2003.
How does Ott fit into this, you ask?
Ott’s father discovered Weber at a young age and assisted him in earning a place in the OHL with Windsor. When Mike made the move to Ontario to play in the league, he moved in with none other than Ott and his family, in Tecumseh, Ontario.
For the next several years, the two would live together with Ott’s family as Weber played with Windsor. Ott, five years Weber’s senior, had previously played in Windsor and then played for Dallas in the NHL, acting as Weber’s older brother in the time they spent together.
This was now almost nine years ago, but the two still remain connected. They train together in the offseason as both players return ‘home’ to Ontario. (This was highlighted in a Sabres’ video from several years ago, which visited Weber and Butch Ott at the Ontario home.)
Steve Ott was also a member of Weber’s wedding party last year, and the two reunited again as the Stars came to town this past season.
With the recent reunion of both the Schenn and Staal brothers, the acquiring of Steve Ott by the Sabres can’t be ignored.
Although Ott and Weber may not be brothers ‘by blood’ like the other pairs, they certainly have an indisputable bond which could provide essential chemistry in the locker room at First Niagara Center this year and I for one cannot wait to see it.