Expect The Gaudreau and Monahan Extensions To Be Pricey

Now that 2015’s training camp has opened, we’re basically into the final year of Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau’s entry-level contracts. In other words: these are the final cheap games they will ever play for the Flames, and then things will get pretty pricey.

How pricey?

Well, when you take into account some of the deals signed by young forwards in the same general grouping and stature of Monahan and Gaudreau, you can get an idea.


Jonathan Huberdeau signed yesterday, inking a two-year bridge contract with the Florida Panthers worth $3.25 million against the cap annually. The 22-year-old joins fellow youngsters Cody Eakin (24), Jakob Silfverberg (24), Marcus Johansson (24), Derek Stepan (25), Ryan O’Reilly (24) and Sean Couturier (22) in signing new deals over the summer.

Here’s a brief summary of who these guys are, how expensive they are, and how productive they are.

Player Team Age Career
AAV (length)
Jonathan Huberdeau FLA 22 196 113 0.576 $3.250 million (2 years)
Sean Couturier PHI 22 287 118 0.411 $4.333 million (6 years)
Cody Eakin DAL 24 237 107 0.451 $3.850 million (4 years)
Jakob Silfverberg ANA 24 181 81 0.448 $3.750 million (4 years)
Marcus Johansson WSH 24 345 186 0.539 $3.750 million (1 year)
Ryan O’Reilly BUF 24 427 246 0.576 $7.500 million (7 years)
Derek Stepan NYR 25 362 252 0.696 $6.500 million (6 years)

Now, here’s Calgary’s dynamic duo:

  • Johnny Gaudreau: 22 years old (he’ll be 23 next August). He’s already generated 65 points in 81 career games (in a season and a game, basically), so he has already out-scored Silfverberg. His points-per-game heading into this season is 0.802 – significantly higher than anybody who signed a deal this summer. Granted, his sample size is pretty small.
  • Sean Monahan: 21 years old (when his deal expires). He’s amassed 96 points in 156 games for a points-per-game of 0.615. He has a larger sample size than Gaudreau, but a smaller point production per game.

And for the sake of putting their offensive production in the proper context, here’s a Player Usage Chart: easier assignments are towards the bottom right, tougher assignments towards the top left. The colour of the dot is a player’s Relative Corsi: the bluer, the better.


    O’Reilly produces decent offensive numbers, but he’s also a possession beast and plays against the other team’s top guys. Combine that with a large sample size, a long-term deal makes complete sense. Stepan’s possession numbers are a bit worse than O’Reilly’s, but he produces offense more frequently.

    The market? It’s more likely to pay for offense than anything else, but you do see possession factor in quite a bit, particularly recently. If you judge exclusive in terms of offense and ignore other factors, both Flames forwards should be getting even more than Stepan’s $6.5 million.


    Gaudreau and Monahan are very productive offensive players thus far. Compared to everybody else who got contracts this summer – even Ryan O’Reilly, who done got paid – they’re far and away better offensive players.

    It’s hard to project a floor, because it’s hard to figure what either side wants. The Flames probably just want to lock them in for the long term: it gives them some cost certainty and probably gets the cap hit as low as they can feasibly get it – you’re basically splitting the difference between a shorter bridge deal and the more expensive deal they’d sign after it. And it gives Brad Treliving a solid core group signed long-term with manageable cap hits. If you figure that they’d get somewhere north of Ryan O’Reilly’s $7.5 million cap hit in their post-bridge contract – let’s say $8.5 million for argument’s sake – then maybe, just maybe, the Flames can get the deal done for around $6 million for each guy, but probably not for a term longer than 4 seasons. The main arguments for Flames management against high cap hits for Monahan and Gaudreau, right now, likely stem from each player’s (relatively) small sample size compared to the market. The challenge is figuring out what the sweet spot is for both sides to be comfortable with a lengthy deal.


    Right now, I’d wager the absolute best-case-scenario for a contract for either guy is a cap hit of $5.5 million, and that’s if they’re okay with leaving money on the proverbial table. And that’s based on the deals signed this summer and the current production levels of Monahan and Gaudreau. If either guy increases his offensive production substantially this season, though, expect that figure to climb northward. Heck, maintaining their current torrid scoring paces also probably drives their prices up given the only issues with them are sample size concerns.

    If you put a gun to my head, I’d guess they both sign for around $6.25 million per season for four years. That keeps their cap hits lower than Mark Giordano’s for a few years and puts them up for new deals when they’re 25 (Monahan) and 26 (Gaudreau), which still gives them room to really cash in at the end of these semi-bridge deals.

    But I could be wrong, because regardless of what happens, these guys are good players and they’re going to be pricey to keep around. If we want an indication of how good a cap manager Brad Treliving is, I think we’ll get an indication based on what cap number he locks Monahan and Gaudreau in at.

    Regardless, it’s gonna cost ’em.

      • Parallex

        “If you put a gun to my head, I’d guess they both sign for around $6.25 million per season for four years.”

        So with a gun to your head you’d guess that the Flames sign the two of them to big money deals that buy out precisely zero free agent years and leave one or both eligible for UFA status at the conclusion?… I guess it’s reasonable that some folk wouldn’t perform well with the threat of imminent death hanging over them πŸ˜‰

      • Parallex

        Bye Bye David Jones, Kris Russell, and Jiri Hudler, I like you but I can’t afford you because I have to pay Deryk Engelland while I pay Johnny and Monny.


        Hello Mark Jankowski, Emile Poirier, Morgan Klimchuk, Bill Arnold, and [insert one of a half-dozen D prospects pushing for a spot].

      • RexLibris

        I’ve got Monahan and Gaudreau signing multi-year deals (6 years) at $6.5 million.

        Takes them into their 20s and is comparable to the Hall-Eberle deals + inflation.

        Then again, Treliving has signed a few players now for less than what was perceived as market value so he could perhaps sign these players to long deals at bargain numbers.

      • Parallex

        I think we’re looking at 6 years (I’d prefer the full 8 TBQH) at 6.5 per. That buys 1 or 2 free agent years (I believe that it’s one for Guadreau and two for Monahan but not 100% on that).

      • Crazy Flames

        Perhaps I am just hopeful Brad keeps the trend going with these next two contracts as he did with these last two major signings (Gio and Hamilton). He appears to be very business and economically savvy in his recent deals.

        My best guess they sign twin contracts in the range of $5.75 x 6 (this would be just shy of a miracle), or $6.5 x 7 (One up RNH, Hall, Eberle), and absolute worst case of $7.5 x 8 (Tarasenko). Of course the depends on what sort of numbers these two put of this year. Which IMO will range from 65-80 points (see Vlady in the Gateway city) barring any injuries.

      • Willi P

        I think Ryan and Rex have the term right but are over 1 million too high. My bet is they both sign 5.25ish for 6 years. Two reasons, the landscape has changed (cap, economy, paid in USD but live/spend CDN$ as per Gio’s agent) and I think BT will sell them on the vision with guys like Hamilton, TJB and Giordano buying into the big picture. I expect the same from Hudler as well. Time will tell but BT’s track record so far for core pieces is impressive.

        • Burnward

          I think you are bang but a little low on that cap number. I think both of these guys warrant & will probably get Dougie Hamilton type deals of 6 years @ 5.75 mill per. Would totally make sense. If BT gets that for less, then he truly is our Messiah. I would have no issue putting 7 & 8 year deals on the table for 6.5 mill per. This is going to be a real tough next 10 months from a cap point of view that will set the vision going forward for our new Flames. The core is slowly getting locked up into long term deals. I love our team.

          • Train#97

            Trust me . By no way am I making this comparison but if Johnny G believes he could be in the Kane , Teows class , why would he sign an 8 year deal? Kane is making 13.8 mil along with Teowsthis year. So signing long term might not be in his best interest .
            What if he got 100 points the next couple of years and he is already signed long term? What would he be missing out on.

            • Willi P

              When did he say he thought he was the next Kane?
              Besides what are you talking about?Aren’t you one of the Coil tampers that say he’s bo good and will regress next year to 40-50 points? Hahaha DX

              • Burnward

                Crazy that a 5’6 fourth round pick could even be in that conversation. But here he is.

                I’ll go 3 years 14-16 million for both. Pay as they earn their cake. Can’t see either higher than 7 in their prime. Gives a little time to work around contracts like Wideman, Stajan.

                Maybe allows them to keep Hudler too. Three year extension for him as well at 5 per would be okay.

        • Parallex

          Because it isn’t what the players and their agents would want. 6 years is a compromise.

          Also Ryan, you forgot Brandon Saad. Five years at six per.

          I maintain that Hamilton’s contract set an important precedent here.

        • I would bet quite a bit that this will be the case.

          7-8 years 6-7M is risky to each party but it seems to me the best win/win as both parties are risking arguably equal amounts. 42-56M over the contract is pretty good even if you are leaving some money on the table if it means you have security and are happy where you are (I am guessing πŸ™‚ ).

      • Slowmo

        I hope there not reading this the Media is going to put the Flames in the whole they had no Idea what they were worth now look with all this media hype they will want a billion a yr. Thanx Media πŸ˜‰

      • Parallex

        If you all recall, Pike’s accuracy at predicting Gio, Hamilton and Backlund’s contract extensions was absolutely horrendous and no where near what BT ended up locking them up for…and here he is yet again throwing around numbers significantly too high…apparently someone that never learns.

        Willie P and Kevin R have it right, they’ll both sign for under $6M if the deals were done today…a lot can happen tho either way during the season to impact the final deal that’s inked.

        Either way, will be great to have these guys locked up and the core fully intact moving forward