Reign Sign NHL Veteran to Blue Line
Paul Mara makes ECHL Debut in Ontario
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, 2011-12 Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, have announced the signing of former NHL defenseman Paul Mara to the Reign’s 2012-13 roster.
Mara, 33, will don a Reign uniform in his ECHL debut after spending a total of 13 seasons, 734 games, in the NHL between the Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, and Anaheim Ducks. Mara played between the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens during the 2010-11 season. Throughout that year, Mara played in 53 games recording 6 points (1g, 5a) and 88 penalty minutes.
“Mara’s experience will definitely help us on the back end this year,” said Reign Head Coach Jason Christie.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound defenseman made his professional and NHL debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1998 after being chosen by the club in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. In his debut game, Mara earned two points, a goal and an assist. He continued to play with the Lightning until 2001. However, between 1999 and 2001, Mara spent some time in the IHL with the Detroit Vipers for a total of 25 games earning 14 points (6g, 8a). He returned to the Lightning for 46 games and finished 2001 with the Phoenix Coyotes.
“With Paul coming in, he has a pretty calm demeanor about him and he has played at the highest level possible; it’s good for guys sitting in the locker room to have that kind of presence,” Christie said.
A native of Ridgewood, NJ, Mara spent from 2000-04 and the 2005-06 season with the Coyotes for a total of 323 games, 142 points (38g, 104a) and 268 penalty minutes. During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Mara played overseas with the Hannover Scorpions for 35 games. While there he earned 18 points (5g, 13a). He split the 2006-07 season between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. He stayed with the Rangers until the end of the 2008-09 season. The blueliner played in 156 games tallying 43 points (8g, 35a) and 164 penalty minutes with New York.
In 2009 Mara signed with the Montreal Canadiens as a free agent; he played in 42 games with the team and returned to them for the latter half of the 2010-11 season.