Woo-boy. If anyone needed a reason to hate the Montreal Canadiens even more, Mark Bergevin just gave them a big one in the acquisition perma-pain-in-the-butt Steve Ott from the Detroit Red Wings.
In return, the Red Wings will receive a sixth round draft pick in 2018.
Ott joins a team that already has Brendan Gallagher and Andrew Shaw in its lineup. Perhaps they’ve just formed a French-Canadian version of the Axis of Evil or ‘Axe de Mal,’ if you will.
If only they could acquire one more uber-agitator then Montreal could claim to have all four horsemen of the hockey-pocalypse.
(Calm down Canadiens fans. Jokes.)
This season with Detroit Ott has played in 42 games. He’s registered 3 goals and 3 assists plus 63 penalty minutes.
When the news first broke that the Canadiens were interested in Ott, Eyes on the Prize had this to say:
First, Steve Ott doesn’t belong anywhere near such a hallowed franchise as the Montreal Canadiens. Second, say what you will about Marc Bergevin’s trades up until now, there’s no way the Habs General Manager would seriously consider acquiring a 34-year-old who doesn’t score, doesn’t get assists, doesn’t generate shots and doesn’t play effective defence.
Steve Ott serves no purpose to the Canadiens right now. Montreal just traded away David Desharnais, who has much more to offer the game of hockey than Ott does.
As mentioned in the EOTP post, the Canadiens cleared salary cap space by moving David Desjardins to the Edmonton Oilers. In the transaction, the Habs retained 20-percent of his $3.5-million cap hit. Ott brings with him a $800,000 cap hit.
Detroit is clearly stocking up for the future with their draft picks and unloading UFAs they’re probably not going to re-sign.
Adding Ott to Montreal is a cheap way to beef up the bottom six to Claude Julien’s liking with really annoying and physical players.
Perhaps the biggest issue with the trade is the roster spot Ott now occupies, which is one they could be better served by allowing Michael McCarron or Charles Hudon to play in on a regular basis.
It’s not hard to see why Bergevin may have gone out to grab the veteran forward as he’s known for his physical play on the ice. In this season we’ve seen some Habs players get roughed up on the ice without consequence, including Carey Price taking matters into his own hands. With teams like Toronto loading up on size with recent trades and Ottawa acquiring a pest extraordinaire in Alex Burrows, Bergevin may have thought it wise to have a plan for those divisional opponents.
Steve Ott will be a free agent at the end of the year, and the sixth-round pick could be of little consequence in the end, so it’s not the end of the world. It’s more that the Habs prospects now have another fourth-liner to work around to get a look in the NHL this season. It’s not as bad as the other midnight trade tonight, but it still comes pretty close to it.