Mara Re-Signs with Blueshirts

Defenseman returning for second full season in New York

Tuesday, 07.08.2008 / 11:33 AM / News
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Mara Re-Signs with Blueshirts
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defenseman Paul Mara.

Paul Mara
Mara, 28, appeared in 61 games with the Rangers this past season, registering one goal and 16 assists for 17 points, along with 52 penalty minutes. He finished third on the team among defensemen in assists (16), fourth in shots (80) and second in penalty minutes (52). He also ranked fifth on the team with 74 blocked shots, posted two multiple-point efforts and recorded a three-game assist-streak from January 12 vs. Montreal to January 16 vs. Buffalo (three assists). Mara collected his 150th career assist at Toronto on December 29. 

Mara missed 15 games this past season with a shoulder injury and facial fractures. In addition, Mara registered one assist with 20 penalty minutes and a plus-three rating, while appearing in all 10 of the Rangers’ post-season matches.

In 2006-07, Mara ranked third among Rangers’ defensemen in goals (five), points (23) and hits (72), finished second in shots (100) and fourth in assists (18). He ranked second on the club in average icetime (22:08). He also ranked third on the team with 120 blocked shots and fourth with 113 penalty minutes.

In 19 games with the Rangers, he recorded two goals and three assists, along with 18 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating after being acquired from Boston on February 27, 2007, in exchange for defenseman Aaron Ward. The Rangers posted a 12-3-4 record with him in the lineup. Mara skated in his 500th career game on April 3, 2007 at Long Island, and registered his 200th career point on March 17, 2007 vs. Boston. In the 2007 playoffs, Mara tied for second on the team in power-play goals (two), and registered four points (two goals and two assists) in 10 contests.

The 6-4, 212-pounder has skated in 563 career regular season contests with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins, and Rangers, registering 58 goals and 160 assists for 218 points, along with 546 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in goals (15), power-play goals (eight) and points (47) in 2005-06, while leading the Coyotes’ defensive corps in goals, power-play goals, assists, points, and shots (157) that season.

His 15 goals were the most by a Phoenix defenseman since 1992-93 (Fredrik Olausson, 16). In 2003-04, he established career-highs in games played (81) and assists (36), ranking sixth among all NHL defensemen in the category. Mara also participated in the NHL’s inaugural YoungStars Game as part of the 2002 NHL All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, recording three assists.

In postseason play, Mara has appeared in 25 career contests with the Coyotes and Rangers, registering two goals and three assists for five points, along with 42 penalty minutes. He notched his first career playoff goal on April 27, 2007 at Buffalo.

The Ridgewood, New Jersey native was originally Tampa Bay’s first round choice, seventh overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.