December 29, 2011
Episode 3 of "HBO 24/7 Flyers Rangers" had a guest star: Steve Ott of the Dallas Stars, who factored into a segment about the Philadelphia Flyers' trip down to the Lone Star State for a nationally televised game. Please recall that was the game in which Coach Peter Laviolette had a physical altercation with Ott as the teams left the ice, which was covered in the episode.
That mystery solved, there was another curious moment for Ott in the episode: a back-and-forth with Flyers star Claude Giroux in the faceoff circle. (This clip includes Laviolette dodging questions after the game)
For the video impaired, Giroux asks if Ott is taking a faceoff against him. Ott tells him he's fifth in the League in faceoffs, based on the stats from NHL.com. (Ott's now 10th.) He tells Giroux that the Flyer is "a good player … you're doing well." Giroux responds that he never said Ott was "bad." Ott responds back: "I'm fifth in the league, so I'm probably going to win [the faceoff] right here."
And then Giroux beats him clean.
Viewers were left wondering where this sudden chest pounding about faceoff prowess came from, given that Ott isn't usually mentioned among the Selke contenders for success in the circle. Turns out, he's pretty damn good at faceoffs: 10th in the NHL last season at 56.6 percent, tying him with faceoff ace Patrice Bergeron.
But why chirp Giroux about it? Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News got the scoop:
Ott said the program didn't give full context. He said he bet Giroux $50 that he would win the next faceoff. Giroux then informs Ott that he is the fifth best faceoff guy in the league and proceeds to win the draw. Ott said he later bet Giroux double or nothing and won that faceoff. Too bad they left that out.
No word on whether or not the two exchanged Canadian currency with "Ott Rules" scrawled in marker on it the way that Marty Turco did last season with a fan.
(Note: It was Ott that boasted. Giroux is at 51.4 percent.)
Wow, so two players made a couple of friendly wagers about winning faceoffs and the entire gambling angle doesn't make it onto HBO? Were they made off the ice? Away from cameras? Off mic? The NHL does have veto power over certain unsportsmanlike or potentially embarrassing material making the final cut; and the CBA frowns upon betting.
UPDATE: We reached out to the NHL, and they tell us there wasn't a word about gambling to be cut from the episode they were presented.