Five days later, Ott remains a free agent.
Tim Murray discussed the team's interest in Ott on Wednesday, after the Sabres made several splashes in the free agent pool. He told reporters that signing Ott had become more difficult after the moves that he made, but that another move could change that situation.
The Sabres signed Brian Gionta to a three-year contract, which many see as Ott's replacement. Gionta is a veteran who can provide leadership, like Ott did in his short time in Buffalo. Still, Murray mentioned that there may be a move available to Buffalo that would make Ott's return make sense, but what is it?
Only Murray knows the answer to that, and everything else would be speculation, but here's a theory. Ott is known as a good locker room guy. He answered the media after every game and held himself and teammates accountable. Drew Stafford is entering the final season of his contract, and is like poison to the locker room. Stafford's inconsistent play, along with his attitude off the ice, could lead to Buffalo shipping him out of town for a draft pick. If that move is available, a veteran presence would be needed to fill the void, and Ott would be the perfect addition in that scenario.
Anybody in the Sabres' locker room last season could see the leadership Ott brought to the team. Stafford answers the media on days he only feels like it and has fallen out of the good graces of fans. With the new regime in place, and a rebuilding plan, it seems inevitable that Murray will deal the toxic waste that Stafford is. The only question would be if he does it before the season or at the trade deadline. If Murray wants to bring Ott back to Buffalo, but needs to make room for him, this move makes sense, and would make fans all the more happier.Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL