Welcome back, Paul Mara

EDMONTON – The Canadiens have beefed up their blueline overnight, trading a 2012 fifth-round draft pick to Anaheim for former Habs defenceman Paul Mara. He’s expected to join the team in time for tonight’s tilt here vs. the Oilers.

•  •  •

The challenge that awaits out west

Arpon Basu and J.T. weigh in on Mara

Marc Antoine Godin on the youth movement

Stephen Brunt on the NHL and UFC

The red-hot Flames

The team announcement:

General manager Pierre Gauthier announced late this evening that the team acquired defenseman Paul Mara from the Anaheim Ducks in return for a fifth round pick in 2012, previously acquired from the Ducks in the trade that sent Maxim Lapierre to Anaheim on December 31, 2010.

       Mara, who turned 31 on September 7, first joined the Canadiens as a free agent on July 10, 2009 and played 42 games with the team in 2009-10, recording eight assists. This season as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, Mara scored once and added an assist for a total of two points in 33 games, while serving 40 penalty minutes. The 6’4’’ and 207 lbs defenseman has recorded 64 goals and 185 helpers for a total of 249 NHL career points, and was assessed 728 penalty minutes.

      Mara is scheduled to join the Canadiens in Edmonton for the game against the Oilers on February 17.


  1. Chris says:

    In a perfect world, Subban and Price will be all-stars.  But Atlanta can say the same thing about Pavelec, Kane and Bogosian.  Boston can say the same thing about Rask, Seguin and Colborne.  Toronto can say the same thing of Kessel and Schenn.

    I’m not looking at trading a Tinordi/Leblanc (although I remain bearish on Tinordi…I quite frankly was unimpressed with him when I’ve seen him play).  But we’re looking at drafting in the 20’s in a draft that goes 10 deep according to most scouts.  They could be wrong, but this draft has been compared to that of 2005.

    Of course there could be some great players drafted in the 2nd or 3rd rounds…but the odds go from something like 4 out of 5 for finding an impact player in the top 10, to 2 out of 5 for 11-20, to 2 out of 10, and so on.  By the time you get to the 2nd and 3rd rounds, it is essentially luck.

    Let me be clear:  I’m not talking rentals.  I despise rentals.  I’m talking about using our assets to liberate a 20-27 year old player (the younger the better) who has a ton of potential but isn’t working out where they are.

    Guillaume Latendresse for Benoit Pouliot was such a deal, where it worked out for both teams when both players are healthy.  O’Byrne to Colorado.  Kostitsyn to Nashville.

    Who are some youngsters out there that could perhaps be liberated?  I have to believe Cody Hodgson is available and could help somebody.  Matt Beleskey can’t gain a spot with Anaheim, but has potential:  a good skater, a kid who likes to hit and hits hard, and somebody with scoring pedigree from junior (41 G with Belleville in ihs final year).  He’d be a roll of the dice, but I think that is the kind of deal where you can think about using your draft picks.

    The high cap hits of our top players are going to make it tight to put together a team the next 2-3 years.  The Habs need those younger, cheap players to fill out the roster if they are going to commit $22 M of their cap to 4 forwards, none of whom are elite players.

  2. HaloHabsFan says:

    Just a placeholder until we make the Zac Bogosian trade.


  3. bigdave says:

    If Mara is “not that bad defensively” why was he a healthy scratch for most of the last two seasons(when he wasn’t injured)?

    Until Anaheim got Beauchemin they needed a Dman but Mara wasn’t good enough.

    He also was -16 in his 42 games with the Canadiens.

    If he had any depth value why was he not offered as much as a cup of coffee by Goatier in June?

    Hopefully he will fill a hole in Hamilton, eventually, as he has a rumoured two way contract.



    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  4. crabvader says:

    Mara was unfortunate enough to A) Be a part of a brand new team that hadn’t even played together long enough to have a good sense of cohesion yet. B) Get injured early.

    He’s a good team guy, will stick up for his counterparts and is really not that bad defensively.

    So who do you like better? An inexperienced kid with one NHL game to his name? Nash may have looked good for ONE game, but at this point in the season, you don’t gamble a playoff run on a kid who the team doesn’t even consider a top prospect.

  5. Fansincebirth says:

    Anyone figure a multi-player trade is coming?

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  6. tony d says:

    MARA?????????? WTF?????

    As George Costanza once said, “I am speechless… I am without speech.”

  7. Shiloh says:

    Not such a bad pick-up. Even when Spacek and Gill are back, Mara can play the odd game and give every d-man a rest prior to the playoffs. If there’s a frenzy at trading deadline on defenseman, we might not get anybody, so this preemptive move is OK.

  8. SeriousFan09 says:

    Yannick Weber for Shea Weber, Mathieu Carle for Matt Carle and Brendon Nash for Rick Nash, BOOM.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  9. 24 Cups says:

    So we basically traded 25 year old Maxim Lapierre for the 31 year old Paul Mara that we picked up for free last year.  So much for Brett Festerling. (There is no way that Brendon Nash is ready.  It would be suicide to throw him on the D for the rest of the year.  He’s only here because of all the inuries.  Another year in Hamilton should bode well for his future).

    I realize some people may be disappointed that we didn’t get players such as Fisher, Kelly or Kaberle. (Kelly for a 2nd rounder is great value. Fisher for the 26th-30th pick in the draft is a solid gamble).   All of those players are upgrades that improve a team rather than just fill a hole.  I’m not making excuses for G&G, but you really have to try and be fair-minded when it comes to all the injuries on the defense.  There was no other choice but to “waste” a few assets to bring in The Wiz and Mara.  It was that or run the risk of beoming the Colorado Avalanche of the East.  The OB decision is lamentable but that’s now water under the bridge.  G&G would love a mulligan on that move, but otherwise, they have reacted to the hand that was dealt them.   It’s pretty well impossible to upgrade with a scoring forward or a physical Dman when you are busy plugging leaks in the dike.   I think with the exceptions of AK46 and Gomez, you have to be pretty proud of all the players on our team.  That goes for the management team as well.

    Our objective remains the same.  Try and finish 7th (or higher) and see what unfolds.  Just don’t give up any major long-term assets in the process.

  10. Hellfire_Habsfan says:

    Whoa relax people.. Mara knows some of the guys here, is still a decent fill in for a 6th dman and even if we only play him vs philly/bost’s of the league not a bad move… I have a feeling this is not the only move PG is going to make.. 

  11. habsgod says:

    this is a safe pickup provides us with a little more depth ,insurance and experience,a 5th round pick is a cheap price to pay considering that the senators wanted pacioretty for phillips

  12. Nahlsy says:

    Comes down to the Habs have three D that were in the twilight of their careers (over 35) and a bunch of rookies with nothing really in between them in age at all except for Wiz. Too much responsibility on both groups for that stage of their respective careers.

    They needed a veteran that 1) wasn’t a rookie and 2) wasn’t over 35, who could step in, eat up some minutes here and there, give the older guys a break without needing to be mentored either. They needed someone in that 27-32 yrs old range who wasn’t too flashy, just reliable, stays at home while the kids make their mistakes, adds some beef, can look out for himself and the odd team mate here and there a little and Mara fits the bill.

    The Habs were in a bizarre spot where their D was too old and too young both at the same time with NOTHING in the middle at all. This helps put something in the middle, relatively cheap. It’s a subtle move that should add more in other areas than direct impact on the ice.

  13. Fansincebirth says:

    Cancel my last, over….didn’t see 24’s post about Laps for Mara

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  14. fbkj says:

    clearly PG beat out all of the other GM’s in the mara sweepstakes


    this is a reactionary trade because of injuries and it aint a bad one

  15. observer says:


  16. Kimberly2u says:

    Mara? Again?  He was out more than he played…why would he do that?  I know we need a defenseman but I can say didn’t see that coming.

  17. king ddd says:

    lmao i just realised we have the poor man version of the top dogs in NHL


    ** Buck Fruins **

  18. Chris says:

    Sorry, I see all the well-reasoned posts down below.  You’re probably right.  And let’s not forget he was another “character” guy that was really popular in the dressing room.  But….

    Paul Mara was terrible for the Habs last year.  He has completely lost any quickness he may have once had, so is VERY vulnerable to anybody that skates at a pace faster than a snail.  When he’s on the ice, the defence corps becomes a defence corpse.  He will occasionally hit, but does so at the most inopportune times, taking himself out of position to do it.  And the one exceptional part of his game, his booming point shot, has become a non-factor.

    Paul Mara is something like the Travis Moen of defencemen.  He can eat a lot of minutes, but they are useless minutes.  The Canadiens are making a habit of playing guys that have no hope of doing something positive:  Moen, Pyatt, Mara…


    Place me in the decidedly “ANTI” crowd on this deal.

  19. 24 Cups says:

    I just read Dave Stubbs’ article on the upcoming western swing.

    I’ll be happy with three out of six points. If that happens in the first two games, then Price can rest against Vancouver and then come back at home for Toronto and Carolina.

  20. Fansincebirth says:


    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  21. pmaraw says:

    i know its hard to compare the two, but remember when we got breezer back?

  22. Psycho29 says:

    I know most posters are complaining (what else is new) but maybe its just a quick fix until the trade deadline?


  23. LeeFree says:

    Well Pierre, you have wasted ink and a 5th rounder on this move. Experience? He’s a minus WHAT? Hasn’t played in how long? Has been a healthy scratch for how many games? This makes absolutely NO sense. It has “lets make a move for the sake of making a move” written all over it. 

  24. fbkj says:

    i would be with you in your position if management was touting the aquisition of mara as the cure to our woes

    he aint

    he is however a depth addition

  25. nick says:

    Ah thats what MTL was missing… Plan the parade.

  26. 24 Cups says:

      “When he’s (Mara) on the ice, the defence corps becomes a defence corpse.”

    Shout-out to Mike Boone.  This line should go into the HI/O hall of fame!

    Chris – What you see is what you get.  The next level of rentals starts with 3rd and 2nd round picks or kids like Kristo.  We are dealing from a position of weakness and everybody in the league knows it.  The team will now try and scratch and claw their way into the playoffs.  The nine point cushion (and Carey Price)  should get us there.

    A point to ponder.  The laffs are six points out of a playoff spot.

  27. G-Man says:

    I would have given Nash a longer look- stupid trade for no reason.

  28. Propwash says:

    Well, look on the bright side, he’s well rested.

  29. Chris says:

    I don’t see Mara as an upgrade on Picard, to be completely honest.  Picard is an absolute roller-coaster…some days he’s decent, other days not so good.

    Mara is pretty much stuck on the “not so good” setting.

    Mara as a depth defenceman is pretty much a neutral move at best, and a negative move if you think he’s done as a player.

  30. G-Man says:

    Now you’re talking! Pass me your meds!

  31. habsgod says:

    this is a safe pickup provides us with a little more depth ,insurance and experience,a 5th round pick is a cheap price to pay considering that the senators wanted pacioretty for phillips

  32. AndyF says:

    What?!!   Paul Mara again.  I thought he was benched and on the IR enough last year.   Why do we have to make him do it all over again this year?    




  33. 24 Cups says:

    Will you Mara me?  JT gives her viewpoint on the Mara “trade”.


  34. NafSbah says:

    So the trade is:

    Lapierre (ANA stats 16GP 0G 3A -5 ATOI 12:41 RFA) 


    Festerling (HAM stats 16GP 0G 4A EVEN RFA)

    Mara (ANA stats 33GP 1G 1A -1 ATOI 20:10 UFA)

    Not terrible

  35. derfab says:

    Good move. The old guys are banged up and…old. Mara can be a physical presence at a time when our rivals seem to want to up the intimidation ante around the net.

  36. Chris says:

    Okay, but why are we so absolutely locked in to holding on to our 3rd, 2nd or even 1st round picks?  This is a weak draft.  The Habs have an outside shot, but it’s still a shot.  For all we know, they don’t even make the playoffs the next two years…that is how finely tuned the NHL has become.  Despite the injuries, the Habs are sitting in a tie for 7th overall.  They are 7 points out of 3rd overall, but also 7 points out of 20th overall.  Neutral moves when other teams are making positive moves is a very, very dangerous gambit.

    I’m not saying that we trade away any of the assets we are excited about unless we are sure the return is better.  But draft picks are hope, nothing more.  Of the 19 draft picks the habs have made in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounds of the draft since 2004, 4 are playing for the Habs:  Pacioretty, Subban, Price and White.  Leblanc is the only one of the rest that is pretty much guaranteed to be in the league in a few years…the others all have huge question marks.

  37. observer says:

    i’d say gauthier has now lost it! BUT of course i know he never had it in the first place. — wakey! wakey! he was a healthy scratch for 23 of the last 25 anaheim games and hasn’t played in 30 days since jan. 18.

  38. geo_habsgo says:

    Super good move. While he is nothing special by any means he adds size and strength to our defence and we gave up absolutely nothing for him. The plus is that he has played under Jacques Martin last year so he knows the system and he knows the guys well. Shrewd move PG.

  39. Habfan4lfe says:

    What a bunch of dreamers! but Paul Mara? a very average player.

  40. observer says:

    he already was less than average with the rangers.

  41. observer says:

    mindboggling move. does not improve the team. sounds like something gainey would have done like bringing back useless brisebois. gainey is still there.

  42. geo_habsgo says:

    ahh really? Hadn’t checked his stats at all. Was he injured or anything or was the scratching just because of poor play? That’s scary. 

  43. rob_c says:

    Andrei K, for Sergei!!

  44. observer says:

    tsn last night had those stats listed

  45. 24 Cups says:

    Chris – The fact that the Habs can’t pick the right players shouldn’t negate the value of selecting a 1st rounder.

    I have always viewed the NHL the same way that I judge major league baseball.  I really don’t care what happens in the National League, just like I really don’t about the Western Conference in the NHL.  The only time it matters is when we play those teams and the points that are up for grabs in the standings (like this week).  Otherwise, we play in a 15 team NHL and I judge our chances accordingly.

    I’m not getting into all the details, but as we have discussed before, the Habs best chance of winning a Cup is probably a few years down the road.  In a perfect world, Subban and Price are all-stars and we can then make a few big deals to go for the brass ring.  I’m not sure I want to trade a 1st rounder or a Tinordi/Lebanc when we have so many injuries on defense and guys like Gomez, AK46 and Cammalleri are sucking wind.

    For me, it’s not about having the will, but rather a matter of timing.

  46. Shiloh says:

    Nahlsy!!!! Long time no smell.

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