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York Prefers the Bright Side

January 08, 2002

This has been a trying season for Might Duck defenseman Jason York.

He left Ottawa, where the playoffs return every spring like the swallows to San Juan Capistrano, and signed with the Ducks, who have gone south, one way, again this winter. On top of that, York has played with a sore left shoulder much of the season, which has limited his abilities.

Yet, York deserves the stiff-upper-lip award.

"I don't think we can really look back right now," said York, who signed a three-year, $6-million contract last summer. "The good thing is, we have a lot of hockey left. It's no time for anybody to hang their heads. After the season we can sit back and assess things.

"I don't like to talk about other teams, but my first year in Ottawa, we were 12 points out of a playoff spot with 19 games to go and we made the playoffs."

Duck General Manager Pierre Gauthier's investment in York certainly has been one of his better moves, although that may be grading on a curve. York has four goals and 15 points and has played in all 43 games this season.

"I think there have been a number of games where I hoped he would have done more," Coach Bryan Murray said. "To be fair to Jason, I know he has played with a shoulder problem for a long time. When we signed Jason, Pierre said, 'Now we got six defensemen that can play.' From that point of view, [Jason] has done what he was supposed to do."


Disney spin: Paul Pressler, who oversees the Ducks as chairman of Disney's parks and resorts, had refused to comment on the team all season.

On Friday, when Anaheim Sports President Tony Tavares resigned, Pressler finally assessed the situation, saying, " ... The Ducks are playing extremely well. The puck is going to fall into the net any night now."

It did that evening ... once. The Ducks were beaten by Florida, 2-1, their fourth consecutive loss.

Chris Foster

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