The following article was posted on www.camrosecanadian.com on August 2 featuring former RPI standout Allen York.
By Josh Aldrich
The Camrose Kodiaks' newest member of their coaching staff is a very familiar face.
Allen York was their rock in net for the last two Alberta Junior Hockey League championships and went on to play college then pro hockey that included an 11-game stretch with the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2011-12 season. With his playing career now over due to concussions, he has returned to the Kodiaks with the hopes of sparking another championship run.
"I have a real passion for goaltending and I want to help guys get better at it," said York, 29. "I feel like the way my career went I acquired a good amount of knowledge and I want to pass it along and still be involved in the game."
The odyssey was a long one for the Wetaskiwin native. He was drafted in 2007 in the sixth round of the NHL entry draft b Columbus after carrying the Kodiaks to a Doyle Cup Championship and a berth in the RBC Cup. But he put off signing with the Blue Jackets for one more year of junior hockey, in which they won another AJHL title, and earned a scholarship to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He played for three seasons with the Engineers before finally signing with the Blue Jackets.
Over the next six years he played just about everywhere from the ECHL to the NHL. His stops include the Springfield Falcons, Chicago Express, Evansville IceMen, Charlotte Checkers, Texas Stars, Rockford IceHogs, Carolina Stingrays, Syracuse Crunch, Florida Everblades, and Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
Towards the end of the 2015-16 season, he decided it was time to hang up his catcher and blocker. He had suffered his fifth diagnosed concussion which ended his 2014-15 season with the Everblades when he was clipped by a knee in the head when his defenceman played a man driving the net. But this one was not like his previous concussions. It took him the better part of eight months to shake the post-concussion symptoms and after one more year of pro hockey with the Swamp Rabbits in the ECHL, he decided chasing his dream was no longer worth the damage he was putting his body through.
"It was one of those things where I had trouble driving or going to the grocery store, it was hard to function," said York. "After that one, I played one more year and my heart wasn't in it, I was playing kind of scared. That year was closure for me, it told me it was time to be done."
What the journey gave him, however, was an insight into his future career as a goalie coach. Over the course of his career, he lost count of the different specialists he had who tried to influence his game.
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