The Montreal Canadiens have acquired Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames. Monahan is in the final year of his contract which carries a $6.375 AAV. Along with Monahan, the Habs also receive a conditional 2025 first-round pick while the Flames receive future considerations. The Sean Monahan trade, while purely a salary dump for the Flames, offers the Habs some interesting options.
Sean Monahan Traded to Habs
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) August 18, 2022
With the news that the Flames have signed Nazem Kadri to a seven-year contract, Calgary was going to have to make a move to be cap compliant. Sean Monahan is the player moving on. It has been a busy and tumultuous off-season in Calgary. After crashing out of the playoffs in the second round, the Flames have seen their best two players leave the team. Johnny Gaudreau departed for Columbus in free agency and Matthew Tkachuk was traded to Florida after informing the team he would not sign long-term.
Still, the Flames got a very good package from the Panthers for Tkachuk. That package included Jonathan Huberdeau. Now adding Kadri to the mix and moving on from Monahan, the Flames will have a very different look next year.
What this Means
Sean Monahan has been with the Flames his entire NHL career. He was drafted sixth overall in the 2013 NHL draft. The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract. In his first seven years with Calgary Monahan was as consistent as they come. He was a lock to score at least 22 goals every year. Unfortunately, his last two seasons have not gone according to plan. He saw his role within the team reduced. Last year he scored eight goals and 23 points through 65 games before undergoing season-ending surgery.
This move is a pure salary dump by the Flames to make room for Kadri. The Flames may have been looking to move on from Monahan but signing Kadri forced the issue. The Habs were willing to help the Flames out, for a price.
Low-Risk Move for Habs
The Habs gave up nothing in this trade. It’s a low-risk high reward type of deal. Monahan has shown he can play at a high level in the NHL. Getting a fresh start in Montreal could be just the thing he needs heading into the final year of his contract. The Habs can, presumably, offer Monahan a larger role in their team which should help him find his offensive touch. If Monahan can find his game, the Habs, who are in a rebuild, could move Monahan near the trade deadline to acquire more future assets to help the process. Also, if Monahan can regain his previous form he should be able to cash in during the 2023 free agency period.
Habs Can’t Be Finished
Still, the Canadiens need to create cap space of their own to fit Monahan under their salary cap. They also have to re-sign the newly acquired RFA Kirby Dach to a new contract. All this means is the Habs still have moves that need to be made. GM Kent Hughes has made some moves so far this off-season to create a bit of cap space but Monahan now fills that space. During his availability with the press to discuss the trade, Hughes did provide an update on Carey Price. The news was not good as it seems Price is unlikely to play at all this season. Price’s knee has not been responding to his rehab very well and it seems surgery will be required to repair the issue.
If Price is forced to miss the season, the Habs could alleviate some of their salary cap issues by placing Price and his $10.5 million cap hit on the LTIR. Hughes did reiterate no final decision has been made on the status of Price, for now. Hughes did say Price would be re-evaluated when the players show up for training camp. Then there would be a medical update on his status at that time.
According to @reporterchris, the Calgary Flames are trading C Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens to clear cap space for the signing of Nazem Kadri: https://t.co/rdxBUQedN0#TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/precybmOnB
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) August 18, 2022