Skip to main content

Jason York

Jason York was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. He spent several seasons apprenticing in the minor leagues, but only got into 19 games with the Wings over 3 seasons.

Still, he is quick to credit the veteran Red Wings dmen of the time with helping him become a NHL regular, even if it didn't happen in Detroit. Veteran dmen like Mark Howe, Brad McCrimmon and especially Hall of Famer Paul Coffey.

“He was my partner (as a rookie) and he was a great guy to me. He used to give me little tips and stuff – playing the game the way he liked the game to be played,” remembered York. “Obviously, I don’t play like Paul Coffey, but there’s little things like getting your feet moving and moving the puck right away – little things that you remember. I always remember what he said: ‘Keep your feet moving and get rid of the puck.’”

York moved on to a brief stop in Anaheim before establishing himself as a full-time NHLer during a five-season stint in his hometown of Ottawa (1996-2001.) Interestingly, as he emerged as solid NHL player he also emerged as leader on blue liners. He regularly played with and tutored a young Wade Redden. 

“I always tell him, I taught him how to play because I had him when he was a rookie. His dad’s the only one who believes it,” said York with a smirk.

York was a skilled defender. He was a mobile skater with a hard shot. He read plays well, both offensively and defensively. He was never a natural physical player but learned how to best implement that facet of the game into his bag of tricks. He always relied on positioning and an active stick more than any form of brute strength.

York left Ottawa and began the vagabond years of his hockey journey. He returned to Anaheim, spent a couple of seasons in Nashville, headed over seas and finally retired in 2007 after a season in Boston.

York - who was a notable artist with caricatures of teammates being a specialty of his - played in 757 NHL games, scoring 42 goals and 187 assists for 229 career points. He later became a television broadcaster and had a popular newspaper column in which he wrote the following:

I was fortunate enough to play in the NHL for 13 seasons - for five different teams, including Detroit, Anaheim, Nashville, Boston and my hometown Senators.

I got a chance to compete against some of the best to have ever played the game - players like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux. I played alongside the likes of Steve Yzerman, Paul Coffey and Ottawa's own Daniel Alfredsson.

Being a seventh-round draft choice of the Detroit Red Wings made getting to the NHL a little tougher for me, but it makes you appreciate it a lot more when you get there.

Yorkie's teammates and coaches all appreciated him, too.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M