This is a weekly feature that appears every Thursday on Arbour Day.
Mike York is everyone’s favorite trade bait.
The Michigan-born center was traded three times throughout his ten-year NHL career. It wasn’t that he was exceptionally bad (though his numbers did dwindle over the course of his tenure); he just seemed to be that type of player, one who could fit himself into the lineup somewhere, play different roles and provide a few goals.
That was what he did during his time with the Islanders. After being traded to New York from Edmonton (where he went in a previous trade from his draft team, the Rangers), York spent a season and a half on the Island. He posted 52 points (13 G, 39 A) in 75 games during 2005-06 for the Isles, proving himself to be a decent playmaker. His production slowed down the following year, and he only posted 13 points in 32 games (6 G, 7 A) before being traded to Philadelphia for Randy Robitaille and a draft pick. (There’s another name we’ve forgotten about.)
From Philly (where he only managed eight more points), York became a free agent and signed with Phoenix, where he played only one season. Then it was the AHL. He signed what looks to be like a two-way deal with Columbus (as he only played one game there; he spent most of his season in Syracuse, where he tallied 58 points), then jumped to Rochester on an AHL-only deal.
If he kind of falls off the radar at this point, it’s because he left North America entirely after his year with Rochester (14 G, 27 A). He played a season with the Lahti Pelicans of the SM-liiga in Finland, and then he returned to the team he’d excelled with during the lockout year of 2004-05, the Iserlohn Roosters of the DEL in Germany (where he apparently still is). Obviously older at this point, he nonetheless still wants to play hockey, and I guess we can give him credit for that.
I watched York play during my first-ever season as a hockey fan (2005-06), so my memories of him are a bit hazy. Nonetheless, it’s encouraging to see him still playing, as a couple of the guys I’m planning to write about for future posts have seemed to disappear completely. Next week, I’ll profile one of those “no, really, where the heck are they” guys, defenseman Brendan Witt.
Until next time.
(Mike York’s career stats- eliteprospects.com)