The Calgary Flames have agreed to a seven-year contract extension with star center Sean Monahan.
The deal is worth $44.625 million and carries a salary-cap hit of $6.375 million, according to General Fanager.
“It’s been a long negotiation,” Monahan said, who has been a free agent since July 1. “It’s a pretty emotional day for me. I’m just so happy to be here and have people to have that confidence in me for the next seven years. I’m so excited to be here. This is where I wanted to be and a seven-year commitment is huge. To play here is pretty special. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. This is a real exciting time for me. It’s a special day.”
As a fan of the rival Edmonton Oilers, I have had the opportunity to watch Monahan closely. The 21-year-old is one of the most gifted and intelligent players in the game today. I am not a huge fan of long-term contracts. However, in this case, the Flames made the right call, even if took a surprisingly long time to get the deal done.
Monahan, the former sixth overall pick from the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, is coming off back-to-back 60-point seasons, including a 27-goal and 63-point performance this past year. He has 80 goals and 159 points in 237 career regular-season games and six points in 11 career playoff games, all with Calgary.
This is a crucial deal for the Flames. It allows the organization to lock up a franchise center during the prime of his career. His 62- and 63-point seasons are just the tip of the iceberg considering the amount of talent Monahan possesses.
The next priority for the Flames is striking a deal with Monahan’s best friend, Johnny Gaudreau, who led the Flames with 30 goals and 78 points last season.
Gaudreau and Monahan have been linemates the past two seasons and have combined for 112 goals and 267 points in that span. Simply put, this is one of the best young duos in the game.
Yes, the organization has taken a lot of time to settle these negotiations. At the end of the day, what really matters is that the core of the franchise remains intact, and there is no indication a deal between the Flames and Gaudreau will not be reached in the near future. Calgary has had a brilliant offseason, adding key pieces such as Brian Elliott, Troy Brouwer and Chad Johnson. Locking up Monahan is another great move for the team.
This is a franchise that has playoff potential. Monahan has experienced it once in his brief three-year career. He wants nothing more than to help the team get back to the playoffs.
“It’s about winning and that’s what I’m committed to do here,” Monahan said. “I want to win. That’s the goal. A seven-year commitment is special. I’m so happy that it’s done and now we can get going and try to win a championship here.
“I want to be here and I want to win here. I’ve talked to a lot of guys who have been here for a long time and guys that have retired and have won the Stanley Cup here. It’s a special city to play in. It’s home now. I’m excited to be here and I couldn’t be happier to be here.”
At this point, the team is certainly not a Stanley Cup favorite. However, especially after re-signing Monahan, the Flames have the potential to be in the postseason for years to come.
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