Although many felt that GM Bob Gainey would
wait until the end of the summer to bolster Montreal’s blue line depth, he opted
to take care of it much sooner, adding D Paul Mara to the fold on a 1 year
contract. The deal is reportedly worth $1.675 million. The 6’4, 212 lb blueliner spent the last 3 seasons with the New
York Rangers, with a positive +/- rating in each of those campaigns.
Mara was originally drafted 7th overall in 1997 by Tampa Bay, and has also spent
time with Phoenix, Boston, and most recently the Rangers. The 10 year
veteran also played 3 years for the US World Junior team. His 94 PIMS last
season are the most of any Hab still with the team (Mike Komisarek and Tom
Kostopoulos both had more but are no longer in the organization).
The move now leaves the Habs with 7 NHL defencemen on the roster that require
waivers, suggesting that both Yannick Weber and P.K. Subban may be headed to the
minors to start next season. Of note, only Ryan O’Byrne is a right hand
shot out of the 7.
– Mara was the only Ranger defenceman to have a positive +/- rating last
– He led the Rangers in PIMS by a defenceman in 08-09.
– Paul was the only NYR defenceman to take a faceoff last season – he in fact
took 2, winning 1.
– His 13 giveaways last season was the fewest on the New York blueline, and
would have led the Habs in that category by a mile – Ryan O’Byrne had the fewest
GV’s of any d-man who played at least 35 games with 27.