Paul Mara Signs With Habs. We’re Almost A Big Team!

mara

The Canadiens have added a real nice defenceman by signing big, strong ten-year veteran Paul Mara to the lineup. The 6’4′, 212 lb. Mara comes from the Rangers, and has also played previously with Tampa Bay, Phoenix, and Boston.

It’s nice to see some good size added (along with Hal Gill), and Mara’s the perfect age at 29; not too young, not too old. It’s only a one-year contract, but maybe he’ll turn into a rock on defence and live happily ever after as a proud Hab.

The defence now stands at this: Andrei Markov, Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Roman Hamrlik, Paul Mara, and Ryan O’Byrne, with question marks remaining around Mathieu Dandenault, Patrice Brisebois, and Francis Bouillon, although the team recently said Bouillon, at least, won’t be offered another contract. And young whippersnapper P.K. Subban probably isn’t ready yet.

Montreal’s defence is now a big defence, which is a nice surprise considering all the small forwards. O’Byrne and Gill especially will be ducking to avoid the retired sweaters up in the rafters. And Gill will be able to grab Red Fisher’s coffee as he skates by the press box.

The signing of Mara came out of nowhere, and if Bob Gainey can surprise us now with a couple more good forwards, maybe even over six feet tall, he might almost get out of many fans’ doghouse.

Here’s a brief rundown of Paul Mara’s career so far

17 thoughts on “Paul Mara Signs With Habs. We’re Almost A Big Team!”

  1. Dennis,

    I have got to take my hat off to Bob Gainey for everything hes done this off season. Paul Mara is a real rock solid defenceman. Him and Hal Gill on the same roster will cause alot of problems for teams in the habs end of the ice this year. And I think i’ve expressed my feelings on the moves made up front enough. Last year I really believed the habs were not that good of a team, but if the chemistry comes together with the roster you guys have this year the skys the limit. Im kinding of hopeing that Mike Gillis could maybe get a private lesson from Bob Gainey, think you could pull some strings and have something arranged?

  2. Jordy, you’re like a breath of fresh air. There’s been so much negativity, so much criticism of Gainey, and you’re one of the few who says he’s doing it right. I really thank you for this, as you’re a big Canucks fan, and I wish others would feel the same as you. I believe Gainey’s doing it right too, but we’re in the minority in Habsland.

  3. As a habs fan, it was painful to watch Saku leave, although I do think it was necessary to change the direction of the team. I’m not worried about the size issue at all, because people work hard to find something to complain about. When philly kept getting big tough guys after the lock up, that was seen as a terrible idea. Montreal never gets any bigger, and that hasn’t stopped us from having roller coaster seasons. It truly is not about the size on your team (the penguins average out at 6′ ) I think we got younger and faster. Time will only tell how much better we are, but i do like how BG beefed up our defense.

    I enjoy the blog Dennis

  4. Hi Brian. Thanks for that. The direction for sure had to be changed. Our team was going nowhere fast, and that hurt. Getting younger and faster is a great thing, and I’m with you on all counts. Another breath of fresh air. Thanks for a great comment, and thanks for reading.

  5. I haven’t taken too much time to think about this… But at first glance, I really like this signing.

    I think Gainey has done farely well..

  6. I feel a shift in the thinking of many. Gainey might come out of this with new-found respect.

  7. This is great news, especially for Carey Price. Bob is giving his boy every chance to succeed. I’m still really concerned about the second line, I have little faith in Pleky. Even if he produces during the season, he’ll do a complete disappearing act in the playoffs. It Bob sorts that out we could be in for a really fun season. I’m over the Koivu cry fest now, I’m actually glad that he’s out of the Montreal cesspool.

  8. Plekanec was good two years ago and a bum last year. I wonder why. But at least he’s shown in the past that he can produce and hopefully he’ll get it together this year. And that’s a good point about Price, Moey. Now it’s the task of adding a couple of forwards. They haven’t asked me yet if I want to play and I’m getting impatient.

  9. The first move scared me… the Gomez deal.

    Now, I think it’s shaping up pretty good…. we’re younger… fast.. have offensive skill.. got some size and experience on D..

    Plus, today Gainey just signed Travis Moen as well.. There’s some more toughness on the front end.

    You know what… I think Gainey’s got guts to make all these moves, and not make others (like all the UFAs we had)… I think he’s doing well.. it seems to make sense.

    Built up the forwards for speed and skill, added skill and size… all on UFA day…. adds size today on the backend.. and on the front end too.

    Start the season already!!!!

  10. Yeah, a lot of naysayers about Bob’s moves are coming around. It was hard to see all those guys go, but at the same time, the quality we (if i may indulge in a little armchair gm’ism) brought in is an upgrade. Sad to see Saku go? Hell yes. Hope he tears it up with the ducks. But, I’m very excited to see this team on the ice. I’m wondering how the captaincy works out. I think(and this is only my humble opinion) that they either go with the the 3 A’s for a year, then maybe have the players vote. I love the idea of having the players decide. Is this how other teams do it?

  11. That’s not the first time i’ve seen his name bounced around. Personally I like it. He’s turned out to be quite the harbringer of chaos that guy. There’s no one else that really jumps out as captain material.

  12. I think the players should choose too.

    If it were me, I’m not sure.. I think I’d give Lapierre an “A” for sure.

    I have no real pick… not yet.

  13. I really don’t either. I don’t know if Markov is captain material, or Lapierre. It’s a tough one. The team has changed so much. I just don’t think a new guy should be captain.

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