The Calgary Flames have locked up restricted free agent first-line center Sean Monahan to a seven-year contract extension.
The last two seasons the 21-year-old Monahan has blossomed into one of the top young pivots in the NHL with 125 points and 58 goals in 162 games. Monahan ranks first amongst all players selected in the 2013 NHL Draft in points (159) and goals (80).
Last season, Monahan held a 46.99 score, venue and zone adjusted 5-on-5 CF% and a minus-1.02 score, venue and zone adjusted 5-on-5 CF% Rel. The Flames have struggled from a puck possession perspective the last several years and ranked 24th in the NHL in score, venue and zone adjusted 5-on-5 CF% in 2015-16.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the annual average value of Monahan’s deal is $6.375 million per-year. The Calgary Sun recently spoke with Monahan’s agent Pat Morris and tried to compare Monahan with other players around the same age.
“The process had a lot of general discussions for a long time but it started to pick up steam at the draft. And still, at that time I believe other than (Florida’s Aleksander) Barkov nobody was signed then. Was Calgary waiting for the market to fill in? That would be for them to speak on.”
Morris is referring to other top young centres in the game who also needed deals after wrapping up successful three-year entry-level contracts like Barkov, who signed for six years and $35.5 million ($5.9 million annual average value). Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele (8 years/$49 million, $6.125 AAV), Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (7 years/$44.1 million, $6.3 AAV) and Nashville’s Filip Forsberg (6 years/$36 million, $6 million AAV) were all signed long ago, leaving Monahan, who has outperformed them all.
Our Ryan Lambert broke down how Monahan’s numbers looked against his peers after Scheifele and MacKinnon set the market with their deals.
The Flames will now look to lock up 23-year-old franchise winger Johnny Gaudreau, who finished sixth in the NHL in scoring last season with 78 points.
The Hockey Writers recently looked at Gaudreau’s comparables and noted Vladimir Tarasenko (eight years at $60 million for a $7.5 million per-year salary cap hit) as the main measuring stick. This would put Gaudreau above the $7 million per-year range.
With Monahan now signed, Calgary has $8,594,601 of projected salary cap space to finish off Gaudreau’s deal before the end of the summer.
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