The Buffalo Sabres are in a full-out rebuild, and one player that may be moved very soon is Steve Ott. The Sabres captain is set to become a UFA at the end of this season. With the Sabres wanting to build through the draft moving Ott is almost a lock.
I think Ott could bring the Sabres another first round pick, but here’s the rub. Ott wants to stay in Buffalo, and hasn’t ruled out resigning with the Sabres during the off-season. If the Sabres can pull this off it would be a great move for them. Ott adds grit, and leadership to an otherwise lost team. He is built for the playoffs, and that’s where his true value is.
It’s all going to come down to years and money. Ott is not a top six forward on very many teams. But, the Sabres need him to play top six hockey. Ott’s numbers have dropped over the past few seasons. Before being traded to the Sabres Ott scored 175 points over five years (2007-2012) with the Dallas Stars. As a Sabre Ott has only managed to put up 44 points. Some will argue that if you sign Ott it can’t be about the score sheet, and they may be right. Every team needs that strong third line guy to hold things together.
No matter how this plays out the Sabres should come out on top. They will get a good draft pick for Ott, and if they get lucky he may just come back to the Blue and Gold for the 2014-2015 season. The biggest question is what team is willing to make a deal?