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Aeros sign Mara to AHL deal

Houston Aeros general manager Jim Mill announced on Wednesday that the team has signed defenseman Paul Mara to a standard player contract for the 2012-13 American Hockey League season.

The 33-year-old Mara joins the Aeros after starting the season with Ontario of the ECHL. In 28 games, the Ridgewood, N.J., native set up 17 goals and totaled 18 points and owned a plus-14 rating.

Mara has played the majority of his 13-year career in the NHL, spending time with Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Anaheim Ducks. In 734 NHL games, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman has scored 64 goals and added 189 assists for 253 points.

Mara, who has never played in the AHL, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.