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