Monahan Staying with the Flames



Surprising no one, Jay Feaster announced this morning that Sean Monahan will not be returning to junior this season. The 19 year old rookie has had a blazing start to his career offense-wise, but the fact that he doesn’t look overwhelmed at the other end of the ice is probably the reason the club has decided to keep him around.

My pragmatic budget efficiency concerns aside, Monahan has looked like an NHL capable player through his first nine contests, so the fears of him being "ruined" by being needlessly promoted to the show – as happens with some teens – are probably not relevant. And that’s even if you accept that his scoring outburst to start the year is percentages based and not necessarily indicative of his true talent level currently.

Monahan’s skipped the queue is no doubt the best prospect in the club’s hopper currently.


  • Nighteyes

    I think that if Hartley continues to increase Monohan’s minutes but doesn’t put him in situations where he might get banged up and/or overmatched, I’m fine with him staying. As his confidence and other weaknesses improve, his role can increase. I feel that going back to the OHL probably wouldn’t have helped Monohan, but sometimes I also feel he’s just a kid with unreal expectations right now because of his scoring burst to to start the year. I wish he could have a nice long year stint the Heat, that would truly be beneficial in my opinion.

  • Scary Gary

    I’m a bit surprised he’s playing as well as he has in these nine games. Good for him though; he’s shown that he doesn’t look out of place and is willing to get the ‘dirty’ goals.

  • My only pre-req for Monahan staying was always that he needed to be playing significant minutes. Looking good enough to stay in the NHL is an added bonus.

    His TOI has been 15+ minutes over the last 6 games, with 21:11 against the LAK and 19:26 against Phoenix. He has played PP minutes and gotten points, and hasn’t been a significant detriment to the team when on the ice (-3 games against VAN aside).

    Guess his staying makes sense, and I’m cool with it. Also, this doesn’t preclude him being sent down later in the season if need be, or for the World Juniors. I think he should still go to the WJHC and get that medal though, as that’s probably better for his leadership development than mucking with the Flames.

  • Captain Ron

    I’m ok with him staying on the big club. He’s proven he belongs and will develop just fine even in a sheltered 15 minutes a night role. May as well hang with the NHL guys like Hudler, Geo and the boys who can show him the way to becoming a great pro. Congrats Sean you earned it.

    On a selfish note he was the last addition on my fantasy team this year. With 9 points he is ahead of guys like Kesler, Parise, and Toews etc. on my team.

    So yeah, I’m happy with the decision.

  • Parallex

    Now that he’s up for good I think they ought to shelter him less. I’m not saying throw him to the wolves but maybe even out his OZ starts and DZ starts and have him kill some penalties (god knows we could use a different look on the PK).

    • MichaelD

      No no no, Stay the course for now. If they start giving him tough minutes right after the decide to keep him and he falters everyone will be saying I told you so. Keep him where he is having success now, let him grow confidence and then nearer to the second half of the season, thats when minutes get tougher.

      • Parallex

        I didn’t say give him “tough minutes” (In fact I said not to throw him to the wolves) I said give him less easy minutes… balanced responsibilities.

        If we’re going to be developing his game in the NHL then I would want all of his game to be developed (including his D-zone responsibilities and penalty killing). Not some to the exclusion of others. Frankly, I’d like to think that if he’s mature enough to stay in the NHL then he’s mature enough to be able to find confidence (or whatever other sports meme someone prefer) in his performance defensively and on special teams other then the PP.

        • T&A4Flames

          IMO if they were going to make it tough fhey would have done it in the 1st 9 games to ensure he can handle responsibilty. Burke said in his presser that he would wait to hear from Hartley if he could guarantee the minutes he would stay. If not, he goes.

          I think Hartley has done a great job challenging Moneyhands for the 1st 9 games. Whatever the plan was, they should continue on that path. Don’t just quickly add responsibility because he is staying. Hartley no doubt will add and subtract minutes/responsibilities through out the season as he sees fit.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Shooting percentage aside. I’ve seen some progression in his game in just the last 9. There is some assertiveness to his game that took Backlund about 2 years to show. He was also making some strong plays in the D zone against Phoenix that probably went unnoticed. He also had two very good scoring chances right in close on the net that were almost goals.

    Once Stajan is back and he and Backlund can do the heavy lifting, I think this is the right choice in the long run. Kid is already an NHLer. Ignoring the contract issue, I don’t see how you could reasonably send him back without leaving a very sour taste in the kids mouth for the organization.

  • Cowtown 1989

    No brainer. It will be important to temper expectations for this young man as the season progresses. No need for talk of a slump when he doesn’t register points for a few games in a row later in the season. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and let him grow like the Wings do with their prospects. World Juniors will still be an option.
    Cautionary side note- Fata surprised he was cut…again. Please Lord, remove the curse of the 6th overall pick with this one.

  • Rockmorton65

    Another thought, if they sent Monahan down, would that make Gaudreau think twice about signing here? What would it say to these unsigned guys if they are one of the best players on the team, but still can’t make it?

    • T&A4Flames

      Seriously??! I think I am more tired over this Gaudreau anxiety that is out there than the seemingly endless Jankowski debate. I can’t see him not signing because he may percieve this line of thinking.

      Like Janko, its still too early to concern ourselves with this. JMO.

      • Rockmorton65

        Too early? Gaudreau can sign when he’s done school this year, which I’m guessing is March or April. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in a Flames uniform sometime this year.

        Its not anxiety. I think its a valid concern. Part of the Flames new “image” is the idea that talented youth will get a legitimate chance to earn a spot. What would it say about Flames management if they sent Monahan down? You can be one of the best rookies in the league, be a PPG player and still not get a shot. Its a dangerous message to send and is hypocritical of this new “image”

        Corban Knight signed here because of the opportunity, Tim Erixon wanted out because it wasn’t there, and now we are trying to convince Gaudreau and others its worth starting their careers with us.

        • Brent G.

          You’re wrong. Gadreau is eligible to re-enter the draft a year after this one because he skipped a step in his road to the NCAA. That should all but remove any concerns.

          Let’s give it a rest for a while

    • T&A4Flames

      no. it says nothing.

      let’s be real here. these guys aren’t morons. they’re not dolls. they understand this is a business and business decisions sometimes have to be made. plain and simple. having hurt feelings about a business decision says more about the player’s inability to cope with a high pressure atmosphere more than anything.

  • Truculence

    I was probably the biggest proponent on sending him back, but even I’m sold on keeping him up now. He’s a year ahead of where I thought he’d be. I said he had to show he was a 2nd line center on almost any team and I didn’t think that possible, but he’s basically done that. Incredible. Here’s hoping he doesn’t hit a wall (not too hard anyways).

      • Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea

        Me too. He’s proven me wrong and I’m all the happier about it. He seems to be a special player with the right mix of maturity, attitude, and talent. There will obviously be many ups and downs, but I’m looking forward to watching captain Monahan hoist the cup in the next few years.

  • Hopefully Mr. Monahan can stay motivated to keep developing and producing. I just hope that he won’t feel entitled and “safe” now that he is past his audition.

    On another note: Anyone notice that Iggy is still goalless, yet leading the Bruins in shots? Iggy’s brute force slap shots ain’t working like they use to… I wish I can get paid 6 million for taking slap shots…

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I took a lot of arrows around here for saying he should go back, and I wouldn’t have been disappointed, if the Flames chose to do so. At the end of the day, I’m happy to watch him play in the NHL, and I’m glad for the player.

    A tip of the hat to Mr. Monahan.

    • Rockmorton65

      Is there a list somewhere of the players who have started their NHL careers at 19? Obviously guys like Crosby, Toews, Stamkos…

      Obviously, nothing is guaranteed but you gotta love what we’re seeing from Monahan. The sky seems like the limit for this kid.