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Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Paul Mara from the Boston Bruins in exchange for defenseman Aaron Ward.
Mara, 27, has appeared in 59 games with the Boston Bruins this season, registering three goals and 15 assists for 18 points, along with 95 penalty minutes. His 95 penalty minutes currently rank second on the Bruins, while his 18 points rank second among team defensemen. In addition, Mara has recorded four multi-point games and posted a season-high four-game assist streak from November 4 to November 11, tallying six assists over the span.
In 2005-06, he collected 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points, along with 70 penalty minutes in 78 games with the Phoenix Coyotes. While establishing career-highs in goals (15), power play goals (eight) and points (47), Mara led the Phoenix Coyotes' defensive corps in goals, power play goals, assists, points, and shots on goal (157). His 15 goals were the most by a Phoenix defenseman since 1992-93 (Fredrik Olausson, 16).
The 6-4, 219-pound defenseman has skated in 483 career NHL contests with the Boston Bruins, Phoenix Coyotes and Tampa Bay Lightning, recording 55 goals and 141 assists for 196 points, along with 476 penalty minutes. Mara has also appeared in five career postseason contests, all with Phoenix in 2001-02.
"He's a big body, a strong guy. He has attributes we think we could use in our game and on our team," said Rangers head coach Tom Renney when asked about Mara following Tuesday's win over Montreal. "I anticipate that. He helps our power play because he has a great shot, naturally. We'll see, obviously we made the deal for a reason."
In 2003-04, he established career-highs in games played (81) and assists (36), ranking sixth among all NHL defensemen in the category. He also participated in the NHL's inaugural Young Stars Game, as part of the 2002 All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, recording three assists.
A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Mara was originally Tampa Bay's first pick, seventh overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
Ward, 34, appeared in 60 games with the Rangers this season, tallying three goals and 10 assists, along with 57 penalty minutes.