Why Steve Ott is More Valuable than Derek Roy

When the Buffalo Sabres traded Derek Roy, a first or second line center to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Steve Ott, a third or fourth line tough guy, a lot of people laughed at the Sabres for not being able to land something suitable for Roy’s skill level. While the Sabres may have lost the goal scoring that comes with a player like Roy, they in turn got a character, team first, leader in Ott.

While Jason Pominville wears the “C” on his jersey he isn’t a really vocal leader, he likes to lead by example and this is where Ott steps up. Ott is more of a vocal leader, when the team was in a slump he was one of the first players to say “We need to be better.” When there’s a problem in the dressing room he’s one of the first players to get involved to smooth things over and from what I’ve heard he’s a fantastic guy to be around in the dressing room. He can be your best friend yet demand accountability throughout the lineup. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ott and he’s a complete gentleman off the ice, one of the nicest athletes and he truly cares about the fans- which is probably why he became an instant fan favorite.

As different as two hockey players can be, Steve Ott and Derek Roy are polar opposites. Ott is willing to do anythingto help his team win, he’s a completely

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

unselfish player who will hit, block shots, fight and back-check all while giving 100% every shift. When you watch Ott play you can tell he is passionate about the game, he pours his heart and soul into the game and as a result is the type of player you are happy to go to battle with every game. Roy was the type of player who showed up when he felt like it, avoided physical contact as much as possible and wasn’t a team player- it was all about Derek Roy and that’s why he couldn’t find success with any of his linemates.

One of the things that really stands out with Ott is his ability to adapt to whatever role he’s asked to play. If you need him to be a 4th line grinder with John Scott he’s happy to oblige, if you need him to drop the mitts to get the team going or stand up for a teammate his gloves are off before you even have to ask, if you need him to help get a teammate off the schneid, *cough* Nathan Gerbe *cough* he’s more than willing. In addidtion to being a vocal leader off the icem he also goes out and sets a great example for everyone- especially the younger players, by giving it his all every shift. He gels well with virtually everyone on the roster and no matter who he’s playing with he helps bring out their best because of his passion and hard work.

After the trade went down you heard a lot of Stars fans on twitter sad that they were losing Steve Ott and to be honest I didn’t get why they were so upset. I personally didn’t like the trade at first, giving up a 30 goals scorer for a fighter- really? But after having the pleasure of watch Ott play I understand that the Sabres got so much more than just a fighter and why Stars fans were so sad to seem him go.

So while Ott isn’t a 30 goal scorer, he’s the type of depth character player you need to succeed. Ironically despite “giving up goals to toughen up the team” Steve Ott has 3 goals which is actually more than Derek Roy. Besides we have Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and Cody Hodgson to who are payed the big bucks to score 30 goals, if we get 15 from Ott plus everything else he brings it’s well worth it. Ott is willing to put the teams success ahead of his own, something Roy was unable to do- which makes Steve Ott more valuable to the Buffalo Sabres.

At the end of the day Buffalo Sabres’ fans should be proud to have Steve Ott wearing the blue and gold. Bringing in Ott instantly improved the team, both physically on the ice and emotionally off the ice. I believe Steve Ott is the under dog of the Sabres as he makes the entire team better, when he steps on the ice you know he’s going to give it his all every game. Steve Ott is the type of player you can build a team around, acquiring him may be Darcy Regier‘s best move as Sabres GM.

 

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Derek Roy, Steve Ott

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  • Craig C.

    Nice article, Caitlin. I now appreciate Steve Ott all the more.

    • http://twitter.com/Hockeylife30 Caitlin Campbell

      Thank you for reading Craig!
      Each game I watch my respect for Steve Ott grows- love him as a player.

    • Kevin

      I agree Craig

  • PaulR

    With this team, this year, I assure you Derek Roy would not have more than 4 goals by now. In goal-scoring, Roy would not be better than Ott. If the Ville Leino deal was one of Regier’s worst recent deals, Ott was one of the best.

    First and Second stars in the NJ game should have gone to Ott and Kaleta. They checked, agitated and disrupted NJ’s top players – Kovalchuck, Henrique and Clarkson. I was at the game, and Kovalchuk and Clarkson in particular could not stop yapping at the refs, at the Sabres and to their teammates. After his run-in with Kaleta, I saw Kovalchuck twice look over his shoulder to see if Kaleta was nearby.

    As a side note – Pominville has a great shot and passing ability, but he will never throw a check, and never takes the puck into the slot or to the dangerous area in front of the net. He refuses to do the dirty work. His skill is extremely valuable to the Sabres, but he should not be captain.

    • http://twitter.com/Hockeylife30 Caitlin Campbell

      I agree, Roy would not be doing well on this Sabres team the way they’ve been playing as of late. Ott is a more team focused player and the true underdog of this team- he deserves to be a star in almost every game he plays. I love the way he’s helping Gerbe find his game

  • davidmuscalo

    I couldn’t agree more. Spot on article. This is one of the best trades Regier has made. Getting Hodgson and Sultzer was another coup.
    I don’t miss self-centered Roy at all, and Otter has dynamic presense both on and off the ice. Also, what I like best is that he passionately expressed his desire to play for Buffalo when the trade was completed.

    • http://twitter.com/Hockeylife30 Caitlin Campbell

      Thanks for the read!

  • TJ

    Stars fan here, still missing Otter. Glad to see he’s appreciated by you carpetbaggers.