Scrappy Steve Ott hangs up skates, returns to St. Louis Blues as assistant coach

Steve Ott retired Thursday after a 14-year playing career and became the latest former player to take up coaching in the NHL when the St. Louis Blues announced that the 34-year-old former center would be returning to the franchise as an assistant coach.

Ott finished his career with the Montreal Canadiens, who landed him in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings in late February, after spending 2013-16 with the Blues. He is best known for his time with the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres.

And if the former 25th overall draft pick's coaching style is reminiscent of his play, Coach Ott figures to be, at the least, a scrappy one.

Just over a month ago, after all, Ott was laying people out on the ice:

The vet is no stranger to on-ice controversies, either, drawing multiple suspensions from 2007-09 thanks to some eye gouging and hits to the head. Ott started plenty of fights -- and there were also plenty of times where his opponents finished them -- in his 848 games in the NHL. Those antics go back to his time in the American Hockey League, too, when the former Sabres captain led his teams in penalty minutes and was noted for getting under players' skin at the 2001 World Junior Hockey Championship.

If there's one thing he's likely to bring to the bench, then, it's an appreciation for the rougher side of the sport.

Especially since, after hanging up the skates, it won't affect him as much anymore.

"Obviously it's going to feel a lot better on my body going forward," Ott said, according to the NHL.

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