Rangers News: Paul Mara signs with Montreal Canadiens

From the Montreal Canadiens website:

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today the signing of defenseman Paul Mara to a one-year contract for the 2009-10 season. As per Club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

" Paul Mara will bring size and experience to our group of defensemen. He can contribute to all facets of the game ", said Bob Gainey.

Last season, the 6-4, 212-pound defenseman scored 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) with 94 penalty minutes, 102 shots on goal, a plus-2 rating and an 18:57 time on ice average in 76 regular-season games with the New York Rangers. In 10 NHL seasons, the 29-year-old amassed 239 points (63 goals, 176 assists), fired 943 shots on goal and served 640 penalty minutes in 639 regular season games, with Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Boston, and the New York Rangers.

A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Mara represented Team USA at the World Junior Championship on three occasions (1997 to 1999) and won a bronze medal at the 2004 World Championship, in Czech Republic.

Mara was selected in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7th overall at the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Well Ranger fans, that puts to bed the "Mara vs. Morris" debate, at least from Paul Mara's end. Now the question is, do the Rangers look to bring back another veteran defenseman, or will they look into bringing back Morris? My guess is, they let Morris walk, and look for a cheap veteran alternative. Thoughts?