Steve Ott is ending his playing career and will join the Blues’ coaching staff.
The St. Louis Blues announced on Thursday afternoon that they’ve hired Steve Ott to serve as an assistant coach on Mike Yeo’s staff. Ott, who played for the Blues from 2014-16 as part of a 14-season NHL career, received a three-year contract and is the second former Blue to join the coaching staff in as many days, following former defenseman Darryl Sydor, who was added to the staff on Wednesday.
Obviously, this means that the 34-year-old’s playing days are over, though he hadn’t announced his retirement before accepting the coaching position with the Blues. He played in 53 NHL games this past season, suiting up 42 times for the Detroit Red Wings before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens on February 28 and playing in 11 games for them. He also saw action in six postseason games for the Habs.
Ott was teammates with a large chunk of the Blues’ roster, and while that may limit their ability to take him seriously as a coach, he was beloved during his time in St. Louis, frequently being referred to as a “glue guy” and a player who was destined to be a future coach.
It’s assumed that the Blues will be still be bringing on another veteran coach to coordinate their power play. If that’s the case and Ott serves in more of a support role to begin his coaching career, he should be able to make a smooth transition from the ice to the bench.
Ott presumably earned his shot on Yeo’s staff based on positive recommendations from GM Doug Armstrong and the returning players, since he’s never crossed paths with Yeo as a player. With that said, he did his best to wreak havoc for Yeo’s Wild teams as a Central Division opponent and during the 2014-15 postseason.