Isles seeing streaky York's up side

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:25 PM ET

LONG ISLAND -- A month ago, a wise guy could've suggested the trade that sent Michael Peca to the Edmonton Oilers and Mike York to the New York Islanders was one of those deals that hurt both teams.

While Peca struggled to fulfil the offensive expectations placed on him with the Oilers, York wasn't exactly lighting it up on Long Island, either, with just one goal and six assists in his first 15 games with New York.

It's taken awhile, but with seven points in his last three games, a roll that included a five-point night against St. Louis, York boasted rather fetching totals of 7-12-19 when Peca returned for his homecoming as a member of the Oilers last night.

He's settling in.

"That's the business side of it," said York, asked about the August deal that sent him packing out of Edmonton. "I enjoyed my time there a lot. I loved the guys and playing in the city. At the same time, this has been a good fit."

MIKE'S NUMBERS

York, 27, acquired in the March 2002 deal that sent Tom Poti and Rem Murray to the New York Rangers, played 144 games with the Oilers, tallying 40-57-97 during his tenure. He scored 16-26-42 in just 61 games in 2003-04.

York's a streak scorer. Right now, he's warming up.

"We liked Mike a lot," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "He's a heckuva player. The thing about York is when he's on top of his game confidence-wise, which he is now, he looks like one of the best players in the game."

York looked anything but when he arrived, though, and people here were wondering if Mike Milbury got stiffed for Peca. Of course, Oilers fans had their own questions about the deal, given Peca's offensive struggles.

"I was getting opportunities. The puck just wasn't going in," shrugged York, asked about his slow start. "Now, it seems to be."

Coach Steve Stirling has been playing York between Miro Satan, another former Oiler, and Trent Hunter lately after moving him around earlier in the season. York's looked at home at centre, a position he played on and off with the Oilers.

PLAYED IN GERMANY

Off the ice, things have worked out well for the diminutive pivot. His place in Edmonton sold in three days. York, who spent the lockout season playing in Germany, bought a home here.

"I sold my place in Edmonton quick. It's a hot market out there," laughed York. "I couldn't afford to even put a down payment down out here."


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