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2010 NHL free agency: Ducks sign defenseman Paul Mara

Sep 16, 2010, 8:52 PM EDT

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paulmara1.jpgWith training camps about to start, the last of the signings are being finalized and one late signing today by the Ducks comes at the perfect time. The Ducks have signed defenseman Paul Mara to a one-year deal worth $750,000 to help add experience and depth to their blueline corps. Mara struggled with injury last year in Montreal and didn’t factor much into what the Habs did last year.

Mara’s signing comes at a good time for the Ducks because newly acquired defenseman Toni Lydman is having issues of his own with double vision.

Doctors have done several batteries of tests on Lydman, ruling out most major medical concerns but not identifying the problem.

That sounds random and awkward for Lydman. The Ducks’ blueline was already set to be a point of contention as Lubomir Visnovsky, Andy Sutton, and Toni Lydman are the big names back on defense for Anaheim. That’s not exactly a murderer’s row of blueliners and losing Lydman just makes life harder there.

No offense to guys like Brett Festerling, Danny Syvret or Sheldon Brookbank but they’re not the sort of guys that will be able to consistently do well against the likes of San Jose, Chicago or Detroit in the west. Bringing Mara on board helps but they’re still going to have a hard time in the supremely competitive Western Conference.

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