Jackets hope for "new" York

Light the LampSenior Writer IJuly 25, 2008
Ha! Bet you thought Howson was done shopping this summer didn't ya!?

Well I am not gonna lie as I certainly thought it he was. Instead he's just moved from the premium rack to the bargain bin with the report from Puck-rakers that the Jackets have signed Mike York to a 2-way contract worth 750k at the NHL level and 100k at the minor league level.

So what gives here?

Depth, depth and more depth.

York is a 30 year odl 5'10" 190lb winger/center who has 8 NHL seasons under his belt. He was drafted in the 6th round in 1997 draft and spent 4 years with Michigan State of the CCHA. Sportsnet's take:

Assets
Has great speed, excellent playmaking ability and durability--despite his lack of size. Generally plays a sound two-way game.

Flaws
Tends to wear down physically because of his smallish stature. Needs to find his niche at the NHL level.

Career potential
Second line center.

York played with Phoenix last year only tallying 6g 8a for 14p in 63 games. He finished a -4 with 4 PIMs. His best season came back in 2001 when he split time with the Rangers/Oilers and notched 20g 41a for 61p. Overall he's had 5 seasons with 40 or more points.
Of course you did catch that I said Oilers right? Aha -- there is your Howson connection.
The last 3 years has seen York's game really hit the skids. Its been widely reported that he's faced many off ice issues with substance abuse. With this signing one can only hope York has cleaned himself up and can focus on hockey.
This is a classic low risk high reward signing by Howson. I mean why not right? With his experience with York in Edmonton Howson knows what a clean and sober York can bring and if that's the version we get than this guy will help. If its not well then he's on a 2-way so they put him on waivers and if he clears the Crunch get another veteran to help them.
This kind of move isn't new for Howson. If you recall he made a similar signing last year in Kris Beech. Heck you could even put Sheldon Brookbank on that group as well.
If York makes a case in camp then the Jackets have some decisions to make. York on the team would most likely mean Novotny or Malhotra on the waiver wire.
This move is all about looking for value and creating competition with the goal to ice the best team possible from the 1st to 4th lines. No complacency in this locker room - everyone fighting for jobs.

Right now this is how I see the forward roster shaping up:
Nash Umberger Huselius
Modin Brassard Torres
Chimera Peca XXX
XXX XXX Boll
Extra
Murray/Malhotra/Voracek/York/Novotny/Sestito/Dorsett/Pineault/Filatov will all duke it out for those final positions.

So since the draft Howson has upped his new blood head count to 10: Umberger, Torres, Commodore, Tyutin, Backman, Huselius, Vigalante, McDonald, Kelly, York
Heads that have been chopped is at 9: Vyborny, Tarnstrom, Hainsey, Zherdev, Brule, Fritsche, Lindstrom, Westcott & Konopka

Then of course guys like Hejda, Peca and MacKenzie have been re-signed.

Update:
According to TSN Mike York: "11-Jul-08 Signed with the Sibir Novosibirsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)."

Well that is an interesting wrinkle. Stand by to see how this one plays out.
Discuss - what you do think of Howson bringing York into the mix?
-LTL

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