Less than a week after being named the Buffalo Sabres' third assistant captain, forward Steve Ott spoke out on WGR550 radio about his team recently being booed by their own fans.
During Sunday's win over the New Jersey Devils, there were a few incidents of booing, including a two-minute stretch where the Sabres were pinned into their own zone.
"Its disheartening when we get hemmed in our zone and they're basically mocking us," Ott told WGR on Tuesday. "When you get up past the blue line and you finally get it in their zone after a minute and a half shift where they didn't even have a scoring opportunity. I guess you can say it was more of the mocking of my teammates that probably pissed a lot of guys off, including myself.
"You're a fan of the Buffalo Sabres and hopefully, you come to cheer us on and motivate us. We've got a lot of young players on this team and they definitely don't deserve to be booed. They deserve to have that excitement and energy. It's definitely not their fault for the last six years of frustration that's gone on."
Ott went on to say that the jeers that the club has gotten at home recently is something he doesn't see outside of the First Niagara Center.
"I think its completely ridiculous to be honest with you," Ott said. "We go into other buildings and we've won games and teams that should have the same amount of frustration, have sold out buildings and it's funny because their (fans) continue to cheer on their team, they stand behind their team and respect the work ethic."
Ott also told WGR that in his mind the booing at home becomes counter-productive for the team in the long run.
"For instance, a Boston game when it's 1-1 and the power play doesn't click the first time and they're booing you, I think its absolutely ridiculous," Ott stated. "I don't care how frustrating. I think negativity breeds negativity.
"If you want to see a bad product on the ice, continue to boo. What do you expect? You're obviously going to get a negative result."
The 30-year-old was acquired in the off-season in a deal with the Dallas Stars. In 39 games this season, Ott has recorded eight goals and 13 assists.