Pierre Gauthier has re-acquired veteran defenceman Paul Mara in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft. The deal was announced Wednesday night after a 7-6 Anaheim loss to Washington.
Mara had two points (1-1-2) in 33 games this season with the Ducks, who signed him to a one-year, $750,000 contract shortly before training camp. The New Jersey native played 42 games for the Canadiens last season before a season-ending shoulder injury. He had 8 assists and went -16 in those contests.
Mara, at 6’4 and 207 lbs, brings back some size and grit to a depleted Canadiens blueline which is currently down 4 regulars in Markov, Gorges, Spacek, and Gill. He is currently averaging 1.8 hits per game, which puts him 2nd on the Habs in that respect, less than 0.1 behind hit leader Andrei Kostitsyn.
Interestingly enough, the 5th round pick used in this deal was acquired by the Habs back on December 31st as part of the Maxim Lapierre – Brett Festerling deal. The deal still leaves the Habs with about $2.8 million (full season) cap hit in space; that number should increase when the recent callups (Nash and perhaps White) are re-assigned to Hamilton.