The St. Louis Blues have signed Steve Ott to a two-year, $5.2 million contract. The news preceded the upsetting news about Vladimir Sobotka leaving for the KHL, but it’s clear the Ott signing was a direct response to the sudden absence of Sobotka. Ott may be a bit overpriced, but his contract is pretty reasonable considering what other players are going for on the market.
The Ott signing is actually a pretty sensible one. He lacks the speed and some of the offensive skill of Sobotka, but he’s awesome on draws and the Blues will be needing that skill now that Sobotka has packed his bags.
It’s also worth noting that Ott’s role will is adjusted now that the Blues have brought in some additional depth on offense. He was slotted in to play some top-6 minutes at times for the Blues and that’s not where he should be playing. He’s a top-9 guy who can wear opponents down, but he was out of place playing on the top-2 lines. Hopefully Ott will look a little bit better in a role that’s more suited for his playing style.
Blues fans will be disappointed to see Sobotka walk and Berglund/Ott still in St. Louis, but the team did their part in trying to keep Sobotka in the mix. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Ott isn’t a dynamic offensive forward, but he’s a physical presence that the Blues will need now that Roman Polak isn’t on the roster.