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- January hasn't been a kind month for Lars Eller. He has just 12 points in 44 games, his lowest PPG average of any month.
It wasn't exactly the impact move a lot of fans were hoping for or expecting, but Habs' GM Pierre Gauthier did make a splash early Thursday morning with the re-acquisition of D Paul Mara from Anaheim in exchange for the Ducks' 5th round pick in 2012. Our writers have reflected on this deal and as always, offer up their thoughts on the trade.
Brian La Rose: This is clearly a short-term stopgap deal but given the current IR woes (with Jaroslav Spacek being placed on IR this morning), a necessary one. When Brendon Nash is sent down (whenever some of the injured blueliners come back), the difference in the cap hit is nominal at best, $160,000. As a result, this shouldn't really affect any talks for other deals. The Habs have made moves like this on deadline day in years past (anyone remember Todd Simpson?) so why not make the trade now when there's a need for a warm body? If everyone's healthy by deadline day, there's nothing stopping the Habs from flipping him (or someone else) elsewhere if they have to. Such a scenario actually isn't all that unrealistic either. Suffice it to say, this isn't it for the Habs and trades before the 28th.
Louis Moustakas: For some reason, it tickles me the wrong way that the team is giving up an asset for a player it could have very easily retained in the summer. Having said that, it essentially boils down to getting Brett Festerling and Paul Mara for Maxim Lapierre, which is certainly a decent return. Many will point out that Mara is not the most fleet footed of defenders, but his veteran presence and physical edge will be most welcome on a depleted back end. At this point, a warm body on defence who is familiar with the team's system can only be a benefit. Plus, his cap hit is very manageable, meaning that Pierre Gauthier has room for another move or two.
Michael R: After two trades with Anaheim this season, the Habs have basically traded Lapierre for Mara and Festerling. Considering Lapierre was no longer producing and was becoming a distraction I think it's good business overall. Mara is not meant to be permanent solution to the defensive shortage considering he's only making $750,000 this season and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. After playing the last game against Buffalo with four young defensemen, Mara can add some veteran presence to go alongside the youth already present. As long as he isn't relied upon to provide significant minutes I think Gauthier made a good move.
Have your say on the acquisition by adding your comments on the HW Forum.
- Paul Mara returns to Habs for 5th round pick posted by Louis Moustakas