Paul Mara — a 13-year NHL veteran with over 700 games on his resume — has agreed to a contract with the Ontario Reign, the ECHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.
“Mara’s experience will definitely help us on the back end this year,” head coach Jason Christie said in a release. “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.”
Mara, 33, didn’t play at all during last season — his last NHL action came during the 2010-11 campaign, when he appeared in 53 games for the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens.
He spent 2011-12 coaching the Bourne (MA) High hockey team, but didn’t officially retire from the game.
Prior to taking the Bourne gig, Mara said there were contract talks with the Rangers and a couple other teams. But after interviewing for and receiving his first-ever coaching job, he decided to commit to being a bench boss.
“I was still training as if I was going to go back and play, and then this job opening came up,” he told Cape Cod Online. “When something comes across your head and your heart –- and that’s what you want –- I jumped at it. I had the interview process and I was lucky enough to get the job.”
The Reign open their ECHL campaign on Saturday, Oct. 13 against the Stockton Thunder.