Sabres’ Ott keeps eye on trade window

Steve Ott is the Sabres’ competitive face and dressing-room voice, the guy who best represents what Buffalo wants to be as an organization.

“He just goes out there and gets his nose dirty,” teammate John Scott said. “That’s what you want to see out of a captain, a guy who’s first into the battle and leading the charge and trying to drag everybody with him.”

Coach Ted Nolan routinely praises Ott’s leadership, and management is also fond of Ott. The captain enjoys Buffalo.

Despite the mutual admiration, a breakup borders on inevitable.

The NHL’s Olympic trade freeze is over, which means Ott is back on the block. The pending unrestricted free agent could be a highly coveted player because of his leadership skills and playoff experience. The last-place Sabres are in the midst of a major rebuild, and it would be folly to turn down asset-laden offers.

Ott said Sunday he and the Sabres have not discussed a contract extension, so he could be entering his last 10-day stretch in Buffalo.

“I told them I want to be here,” Ott said after practice at the rink in Riverside Park. “I am professional enough to know the business side of things and what the situation is here as well. We’ll see how it all plays out in the next two weeks.