Steve Ott being named a new assistant coach of the St. Louis Blues was a pretty big surprise. For starters, Ott just finished a playoff run with the Montreal Canadiens in April and had made no public announcement regarding his retirement. At 34, it was assumed he wasn’t going to hang up his skates quite yet, but he did so in unexpected fashion by taking a new job next to Blues head coach Mike Yeo.
When the news about Ott’s hiring was released, it was met with some confusion. Some fans were thrilled Ott would be back with the Blues in some capacity while others – including yours truly – wondered what kind of coaching attributes Ott could bring to the table when his NHL resume’s biggest highlight is chirping.
However, Ott does have some things going for him that other potential options don’t.
For instance, Ott is already well known and respected in the dressing room.
In terms of relatability and an understanding of the life of a current NHL player, few know as much as Ott. Considering how liked he was by the Blues during his time here, it actually makes a lot of sense. Having the respect of the room is an important trait – just ask Ken Hitchcock. Ott already has that as an advantage despite his potential shortcomings. If he can pick up the tools needed to lead in a more formal way, he could be a nice addition.
Still, it will be interesting to see where the Blues place Ott. He doesn’t have any coaching experience and he was mostly a non-factor in several areas of the game during his playing days. Maybe the Blues may just want him on the bench to chirp and harass the opposing team. What other team would have a more vocal heckler on their bench who isn’t in a uniform?