2010 NHL free agency: Ducks sign defenseman Paul Mara

paulmara1.jpgWith training camps about to start, the last of the signings are being finalized and one late signing today by the Ducks comes at the perfect time. The Ducks have signed defenseman Paul Mara to a one-year deal worth $750,000 to help add experience and depth to their blueline corps. Mara struggled with injury last year in Montreal and didn’t factor much into what the Habs did last year.

Mara’s signing comes at a good time for the Ducks because newly acquired defenseman Toni Lydman is having issues of his own with double vision.

Doctors have done several batteries of tests on Lydman, ruling out most major medical concerns but not identifying the problem.

That sounds random and awkward for Lydman. The Ducks’ blueline was already set to be a point of contention as Lubomir Visnovsky, Andy Sutton, and Toni Lydman are the big names back on defense for Anaheim. That’s not exactly a murderer’s row of blueliners and losing Lydman just makes life harder there.

No offense to guys like Brett Festerling, Danny Syvret or Sheldon Brookbank but they’re not the sort of guys that will be able to consistently do well against the likes of San Jose, Chicago or Detroit in the west. Bringing Mara on board helps but they’re still going to have a hard time in the supremely competitive Western Conference.

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    Hurricanes’ Lack taken off on stretcher after collision on Red Wings’ OT goal

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    The Carolina Hurricanes fell short of a win on Monday, but their thoughts likely revolve around the health of goalie Eddie Lack instead.

    Lack was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a collision during Andreas Athanasiou‘s game-winning goal in overtime. Officials reviewed that the goal counted, giving the Red Wings a 4-3 overtime victory against Carolina.

    While it’s been a tough overall season for Hurricanes goalie, Lack has been an integral part of Carolina’s push for a postseason spot. PHT will keep an eye out for updates regarding his condition after this scary collision.

    The Red Wings stayed on the ice as Lack was taken off, a nice gesture after an unfortunate accident.

    Drouin triggers second-period rally for Lightning vs. Blackhawks

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    Just when you think it’s time to count the Tampa Bay Lightning out, they rally back.

    It’s been happening overall in 2016-17, and that pattern carried over into Monday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

    The Lightning decided to put Andrei Vasilevskiy back in the net in the second period after he gave up three goals on eight shots in the opening frame … and at first, that looked like a mistake that would do them in. Chicago went up 4-1 and things looked dire.

    But, again, the Bolts followed the script when it comes to flipping the script, with Jonathan Drouin triggering a resounding rally in the second.

    Droun’s first goal came 11:45 into the second period, followed about a minute later by an Anton Stralman tally. Less than four minutes later, Drouin hit the 20-goal mark with the 4-4 marker on the power play.

    First, check out Drouin’s first goal, which began the rally:

    Next, witness the 4-4 goal, also by Drouin:

    And … just like that, the Lightning tied things up. Wow.

    Apparently Drouin created more offense than just his two goals, too:

    Impressive. Remember when he seemed like he was out the door last season? Now that feels like another reminder not to give up on this group, no matter how ugly things look at times.

    Video will be added when available.

    Lightning give Vasilevskiy the (brief) hook after very rare Jurco goal

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    By just about any measure, Monday’s been lousy to Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

    He was pulled with a few minutes remaining in the first period after Chicago Blackhawks built a 3-1 lead, scoring those three goals on just eight shots on net.

    You could summarize Vasilevskiy’s awful start by those numbers, or by how rare the 3-1 goal was for the scorer.

    Tomas Jurco failed to score a goal or an assist in 16 games with the Red Wings, then went pointless in nine more games with Chicago before finally scoring his first goal of the season on Monday.

    Now, Jon Cooper didn’t pull Vasilevskiy because Jurco scored that tally. Still, it rubs a little extra salt in his wounds all things considered.

    Here’s the Jurco goal:

    Patrick Kane‘s 2-1 goal might have hurt the most, actually, as it quickly dissolved a tying tally by Ondrej Palat:

    Update: The Lightning decided to put Vasilevskiy back in net to begin the second period. Interesting.

    Coach Q thinks Anisimov will be back by playoffs for Blackhawks

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    The bad news is that Artem Anisimov seems likely to miss all – or at least most – of the regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks with his lower-body injury.

    The good? Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville believes that Anisimov will be ready once the playoffs swing into motion, as the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus reports.

    Anisimov was hurt when he got tangled up with Canadiens forward Alex Radulov on March 14:

    The Blackhawks have been filling Anisimov’s typical spot alongside Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin with Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz lately. There have been flashes of brilliance with Schmaltz, but Chicago would probably feel most confident with Anisimov back in his familiar place.

    Chicago’s Central lead is pretty secure over the Minnesota Wild at the moment, which likely reduces motivation to rush Anisimov back before he’s truly ready. The Blackhawks close out their regular season on April 8, so there’s still time for him to heal up.