A familiar face is on his way back to Montreal tonight. The Habs have traded away a fifth round pick for one-time Canadiens defenseman Paul Mara. Mara was caught up in a lineup game with Ducks coach Randy Carlyle and found himself lost in the shuffle. Mara had played in 30 games for the Ducks this year and wound up with a goal and an assist with 40 penalty minutes and a -1 plus/minus rating.
Mara plays a tougher, match-up defensive style of game and with Montreal dealing with injuries to Andrei Markov and Hal Gill, their defensive depth was being tested as they’ve been playing Alexander Picard and Yannick Weber in his place. While those guys are nice, young defensemen they’re not exactly what coach Jacques Martin is looking for defensively.
With Mara back in the fold in Montreal, they’ve got a guy who is familiar with the system and knows what they’re looking to do. Mara was with the Habs last season but had injury problems and didn’t get to play much winding up in just 42 games. He’s not a world beater by any means, but he’s a good, solid depth piece for Montreal and someone a bit more reliable defensively. With the Habs dedicating more of their strength to playing tough defense, it’s a move that makes sense for them.