Paul Mara

Veteran blueliner Mara signs with ECHL team

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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.

Video: Wild score four in 5:07 for shock win in Colorado

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Everything was going great for the Avs in their season-opener against Minnesota on Thursday night.

Great until the third period, anyway.

In a stunning and dramatic comeback, the Wild erased a 4-1 deficit in just over five minutes — 5:07 to be exact — scoring four times to steal a 5-4 win at the Pepsi Center.

The comeback started early in the final frame, when Wild captain Zach Parise scored his second of the night at the 5:07 mark. Just over two minutes later, Nino Niederreiter snapped one past Semyon Varlamov to make it 4-3 and then, two minutes after that, Thomas Vanek scored to make it 4-4.

But the Wild weren’t done there.

Parise completed his hat-trick — the third of his career — with a power play marker at the 10:14 mark, an unassisted tally. When the dust finally settled on the 5:07 flurry, the Wild had combined to rack up nine points from eight different skaters.

Prior to the comeback, Colorado dominated proceedings with a goalscoring flurry of its own.

The Avs scored three times in the final seven minutes of the first period — including a pair of power play goals from Jarome Iginla and Erik Johnson — to race out to a (seemingly) commanding 3-0 lead.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.