Agent: Rangers still talking with Mara

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
10:34
AM ET
With Marc Staal's status looking more tenuous by the day, the Rangers continue to discuss the possibility of bringing in veteran defenseman Paul Mara to bolster their blue line.

"We haven't stopped talking," Mara's agent Matt Keator told ESPNNewYork.com when reached by phone Wednesday. "The landscape may have changed a bit, but we've been talking all along."

As reported last month, the Rangers expressed interest in bringing the 32-year-old unsigned free agent to add some depth and experience to the back end, but that urgency has likely heightened given Staal's status.

The 24-year-old top-pair defenseman continues to battle headaches stemming from a concussion suffered last February and has been ruled out for the Rangers first two regular-season games. Staal has not practiced with the team fully or participated in a scrimmage yet, however, making it likely that he could miss a significant chunk of time.

Mara, who played for the Rangers from 2006-09, split time last season between the Anaheim Ducks and the Montreal Canadiens.

Keator said he will continue to have a dialogue with the Rangers but that "other teams are in the mix."

"He'd like to be playing right now," Keator said, "but it's got to be the right situation."

***

Defensive prospect Tim Erixon, who was cut earlier in camp, will practice in Hartford Wednesday and fly to Sweden to re-join the Rangers before their regular-season opener against the LA Kings.
Katie Strang covers the Rangers, Islanders and Devils for ESPNNewYork.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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