With only two players under contract, and as many as nine possiblities, Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier is going to have an interesting off-season configuring his defence for next season. Jaroslav Spacek and P.K. Subban are set for the coming season. Josh Gorges is a restricted free agent. Markov, Wisniewski, Hamrlik, Gill, Mara and Sopel are all unrestricted. Gauthier is going to have to decide who to let go and with whom to negotiate.
Posts Tagged ‘ paul mara ’
Judging by the last two days of practice, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin is not in the mood to play Boston’s game. Paul Mara, one of the two truly tough guys on the team (along with Travis Moen), has been relegated to a fourth defensive pairing in favour of Brent Sopel and his shot-blocking ability. Martin seems to be gambling on a Bruins reluctance to rough it up against the Canadiens.
Pierre Gauthier was criticized for failing to make a trade deadline deal to bolster the Canadiens offense. Leading up to the deadline he had a more pressing problem. Because of injuries to his defense, the top penalty killing team in the NHL had slipped to tenth ranking in just nineteen games. Gauthier went to work and landed two veteran defensemen who were a very large presence in last night’s win in Atlanta.
With three veteran defensemen sidelined by injuries, the Canadiens gave up a fifth round draft pick in order to re-acquire Paul Mara from the Anaheim Ducks. Mara played 42 games with the Canadiens last season (0 goals 8 assists). He had by far a team-worst rating of minus-16, which will raise some questions. He missed the last thirty games of the 2009-2010 season of a total of 40 games with a variety of injuries.
Defenceman Paul Mara signed a 750-thousand dollar one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks yesterday. Of the sixteen players who gained unrestricted free agency on July first, only four remain unemployed as teams head into training camp this weekend. Still without contracts are defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and minor leaguers Mike Glumac and Michael Busto plus Georges Laraque who is in a state of semi-retirement following his contract buy-out.