Monahan key to Calgary's future
May 18, 2016 | 4:13pm ET
TORONTO, ON -- The Calgary Flames know how important center Sean
Monahan is to their organization's future success, and by all
accounts, they've relayed that message to the rising star. Now, it's
time to put their money where their mouth is.
Monahan, 21, is coming off of his three-year, entry-level contract and
can become a restricted free agent July 1. He's coming off of
back-to-back 60+ point seasons, and has scored 22 goals, 31 goals and
27 goals in each of his last three years, respectively. Those are some
pretty solid numbers, and they'll result in a hefty raise.
But the two sides haven't gotten down to the nitty-gritty negotiations
just yet, and Monahan's agent, Pat Morris, told me on Wednesday they
are "not very far along."
"There's been lots of general chatter, but we are not down to
specifics," he said.
"I just don't know where they're coming from yet, other than a strong
expression that they want to get Sean signed."
The Flames have experienced quite the roller-coaster ride over the
last two seasons. After battling their way against the odds to the
playoffs in 2014-15, they missed the boat this season and fell to 26th
in the NHL. They were sellers at the trade deadline and head coach Bob
Hartley was shown the door after the team registered the same record
(35-40-7) it achieved in 2013-14.
But the Flames are full of top, young talent, led by Monahan and
fellow pending RFA star Johnny Gaudreau, and they aren't that far
along from being consistent contenders.
Sure, the team certainly could use improvement in some areas,
especially between the pipes (and I'm too busy to fill the void), and
that's something GM Brad Treliving and his staff will work at
achieving this summer.
Priority No.1, however, is getting Monahan signed to an extension
before July 1. (After that, the Flames risk other teams poking their
nose in and trying to persuade Monahan into signing an offer sheet --
Gaudreau doesn't have that right).
"Time is always on the player's side," Morris said, "but they chose
not to do an extension (during the season or last summer), as some
teams have done with their young players."
Monahan wants a long-term contract, presumably in the six-to-eight
year range, and could command around $6 million per season. Again,
term and dollars haven't really been discussed, to date.
"That's all going to depend on what Calgary's thinking," Morris said,
in reference to a long-term extension, adding that a short-term bridge
contract is "not likely."
"He enjoys Calgary and certainly has excelled there. He wants the
relationship to continue."
Contract negotiations are expected to intensify after the World
Championships when Treliving returns from St. Petersburg, Russia.
While Morris admitted he and Treliving "talk a lot," the two sides are
likely to discuss this specific matter and hammer out a deal in the
It's certainly in Calgary's best interest to get this piece of their
puzzle squared away early, so management can focus on shaping the rest
of its roster.
Once Monahan's locked up, Gaudreau and fellow RFAs-to-be Josh Jooris
and Joe Colborne shouldn't be too far behind him.
David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of
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