Steve Ott’s ‘Cheap Shot’: Yay or Nay?
Dallas Stars grinder Steve Ott has been featured on this site before for his aggressive style of play. He is one of the most notorious agitators in the league, one of those players who is hated by opponents but respected by teammates. In this video, his reputation as a dirty player gets the best of him- at least from Florida Panthers announcers Steve Goldstein and Denis Potvin.
He does take a charge at Greg Campbell, making a bee-line for him as he gets rid of the puck and hitting him very, very hard. He was hit with a five-minute charging major, but that’s all it should have amounted to. Otherwise, the hit was clean as Ott kept his elbows down and head up and led with his shoulder. Campbell was only “unsuspecting” of the hit because he had his head down, and could have avoided the impact if he wasn’t focused entirely on the puck. The hit was not at all from behind.
Bryan McCabe was justified in going after Ott, and his two minutes for roughing was well worth it considering Ott’s five-minute major. But the ones who are really out of line here are Goldstein and Potvin, who are dumbfounded that Ott wasn’t thrown out of the game with a misconduct penalty. He cites “intent to injure,” which I guess is only because of the reputation of the person delivering the hit. He also notes the one skate that comes off the ice- however right at the moment of impact- which as a former NHL player, should know is hard to control once you make contact.
The correct plays were made on both sides, and the correct calls were made by the refs. Thumbs down for Potvin for using hypothetical reasoning to justify a game misconduct penalty for Ott (“Because the guy doesn’t have a concussion and get taken off a stretcher, you don’t give the guy a game misconduct?”).
Yes, Denis, hit the nail right on the head there.