York Sen at heart

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

Jason York wants to come home. The unrestricted free-agent defenceman from Nepean confirmed yesterday that his agent Pat Morris has held discussions about a possible return to the Senators.

"I'd love to come back to Ottawa," York said from his Kanata home. "All I want at this point in my career is a chance to win a Stanley Cup and if I could come back to the Senators, that would be exactly what I want. For me, it is the perfect situation at this point in my career."

While the Canucks have also shown an interest in York, 35, returning to Ottawa -- where he played from 1996-2001 -- would be his No. 1 choice.

MESZAROS SIGNS DEAL

With veteran Greg de Vries and his $2.2 million (all terms US) salary dealt to the Thrashers as part of the Marian Hossa-Dany Heatley deal on Tuesday, York might be a good fit here if you consider he has 12 years of NHL experience.

York, who finished the 2003-04 season as the Predators' No. 2 defenceman, isn't going to be looking for a $2-million deal, either.

Right now, the Senators have Wade Redden, Zdeno Chara, Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov and Brian Pothier under contract.

Yesterday, Ottawa signed 2004 No. 1 pick Andrej Meszaros to a three-year entry level contract, which means he'll get a shot at earning a spot on the blue line, as will AHLers Christoph Schubert and Tomas Malec at training camp.

After Redden, Chara and Phillips, the Senators don't any defencemen with more than five years of pro experience, which could work in York's favour.

York, who has moved around since leaving Ottawa with stops in Anaheim, Nashville and even a brief stint in the minors, knows what Senators coach Bryan Murray will expect after playing a season with the Ducks when Murray was their GM.

Meanwhile, Senators GM John Muckler still hopes to tinker with the lineup. The club is looking for help at centre and has been trying to move veteran forward Bryan Smolinski before camp opens. There is talk the Predators are interested in Smolinski, who will count nearly $2.25 million against the salary cap this season.

The club had hoped to bring in Russian centre Alexei Kaigorodov -- a 2003 second-round draft pick -- but he has a year remaining on his contract in the Super League.

"I would think we are going to have to wait a year for Kaigorodov," said Muckler.

ROOKIE CAMP: The Hurricanes announced Wednesday they will participate in the Senators' rookie tournament from Sept. 5-9 -- which includes teams from Florida, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com 


Videos

Photos