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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Rangers, Isles both interested in D Paul Mara

By Katie Strang

Both the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders have expressed interest in veteran defenseman Paul Mara, Mara's agent Matt Keator confirmed to ESPN New York.

"We've talked to both teams and they seem to be interested in him," Keator said when reached by phone Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Mara, who spent 2006-09 with the Rangers, most recently split time between Anaheim and Montreal last season. A physical presence on the ice and high-character presence in the room, Mara comes with a modest price tag as well. He made $750, 000 in 2010-11.

"There aren't many guys like him with his experience level out there right now," Keator said.

Keator said he is currently in talks with other NHL teams and ruled out the possibility of Mara going to camp anywhere without a deal in place.

"He's not going anywhere on a tryout," Keator said.

The Islanders are looking to add veteran depth to their back end, but the Rangers may be the more logical destination given the injuries to their young defense. The team announced they are holding top defenseman Marc Staal out of scrimmages and North American exhibition games because of post-concussion-like symptoms. Fellow defenseman Michael Sauer has also been limited in training camp because of tendinitis in his right knee.