August 18, 2022
Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes, has once again pulled a rabbit out of a hat, and has not only acquired Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames, but has also received a conditional first round pick in 2025 – and for practically nothing. Going back the other way, the Calgary Flames receive future considerations.
The move comes after a busy day from both teams, where the Calgary Flames signed unrestricted free agent Nazim Kadri to a seven-year contract, while the Montreal Canadiens announced that they don’t expect all-star goal tender Carey Price to play this season. A Stanley Cup winner last season with the Colorado Avalanche, Kadri joins the Flames on a seven-year, $49-million deal.
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Over the past two seasons, Monahan has struggled with injuries, requiring hip surgeries in both 2021 and 2022, the most recent surgery taking place in April of this year.
“I think this summer is a big one for me,” Monahan said in a press conference over Zoom on Thursday. “I got the surgery earlier than I did the year before, so I’ve put in a lot of work this summer and right now I’m back on the ice four times a week. It’s been a long time coming for me to feel healthy, so I’m excited to play hockey again at a high level and I’m really excited to join the Canadiens.”
“I probably could have got these things fixed a long time ago, it was my personal choice to play through it, and it finally took a toll. Getting it fixed and I guess prioritizing myself, getting myself back together, it’s a good feeling, and like I said, I’m really excited to play high-level hockey again.”
Canadiens GM Kent Hughes said that the Habs are “not sure” that the centreman will be ready to start the season.
“He sounds incredibly encouraged that for the first time in a long time he’s going to play a season healthy,” Hughes said. “I don’t know if that’s going to be game one of the season or if it’s going to be game four of the season. But he feels like even today not at 100 per cent, he’s way better than he’s been the last few years.”
Despite becoming a Hab just hours ago, Monahan is already familiar with several of the squads key components.
“I played with Paul Byron for a couple years in Calgary and I actually used to drive him around quite a bit,” said Monahan. “Jake Evans, I train with him every day, so I see Jake basically every day in the summer – I’ve met Brendan Gallagher a few times, and you know what? Basically the whole team has reached out now and they seem like an awesome group.”
A 2013 first-round pick, Monahan has played 656 games with the Flames, scoring 212 goals and notching 462 points over that time, with a career high of 34 goals in the 2018-19 season. Last year, Monahan found himself playing on Calgary’s bottom line, possibly due to the hip issues he had surgery to correct in April. Yet, either way you look at it, the gamble the Montreal Canadiens are undertaking already comes with a pay day in the form of a first round draft pick.
In 2016, Monahan signed a seven-year, $44.6 million contract with an AAV of $6.375 million. He is set to become a UFA at the end of the 2022-23 season.