Sean Monahan pulls out of the World Cup of Hockey with back strain

Four Flames are going to the World Cup of Hockey. (Five, if you count Schrodinger’s Jakub Nakladal.) That number changed for a moment when Mikael Backlund was added to Team Sweden in lieu of Henrik Zetterberg, but we’re back down to four, as Sean Monahan has withdrawn from Team North America.

Johnny Gaudreau is still slated to represent Team Barely Legal, and Jyrki Jokipakka and Michael Frolik (and Nakladal, if you want) are still in for their respective teams. But according to the Flames, a back strain will leave Monahan unable to attend World Cup camp, which starts Sept. 4. Vincent Trocheck has been selected as his replacement.

The bad news? Well, we don’t get to watch Monahan in action as soon as anticipated, but that’s about it.

For us, at least; by the sounds of things, Monahan himself was actually looking forward to playing in the tournament. There have been a number of players who have dropped out of the World Cup the past few days – the aforementioned Zetterberg, Duncan Keith, Jeff Carter, and David Krejci, to name some – which is a little eyebrow-raising, to say the least.

But Monahan? He wanted to play.

The good news? The strain isn’t serious, as Monahan believes he would have been good to play in the World Cup when it kicks off Sept. 17, but didn’t want to stress it during training camp.

The really good news? That means he’s keeping himself in top shape for the team that just signed him to a seven-year, almost-$45 million deal: his number one priority.

We’ve seen what can happen to this team when it loses a key player before the season even gets started – stay well, T.J. Brodie! – so to see Monahan dial it back as much as he feels is necessary and ensure that Oct. 12 is his main focus, rather than Sept. 17, is definitely welcome. The Flames are going to need a good start to the season to actually get themselves in the playoff hunt, and Monahan will undoubtedly be a big part of that.

Jyrki Jokipakka’s own status, meanwhile, was in question, but he’s on track to play for Team Finland.

  • RKD

    That’s a tough break for Monahan, i bet he’s crushed not being able to play in the World Cup with his buddy Johnny and to represent team North America. Hope he is fully at 100% to start the season.

  • Slowmo

    Yeah got his awsome Contract now he will be a hospital bed recipient from here on in another Jokinin and Smid Gezz mono you could at least played a couple of games before you got the hurt bug. Ok enough bull I will bet JH will also be hurt before WC The management don’t want there players hurt before season begins. They are more important to our team than WC team and I agree let other teams us up there players. Gio not good enough for WC I would say none of our players are good enough keep them home.

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      Hockey is a business and it is there to make money . It’s not a charity event . I for one am totally looking forward to this World Cup . The talent on these teams is truly amazing and I’ll be pulling for team North America.
      This is essentially the Canada Cup , without the intrigue of the Iron Curtain.
      The loss of Monahan sucks for the team though and for the Flames as well. This tournament would have only added more building blocks to the already good career that Monahan is carving out.

      • supra steve

        These tournaments are always fun. I remember cheering for Mark Messier (Can) to punch Joel Otto (USA) in the face several years back. I also remember last all star game and thinking Johnny and Taylor meshed well together…now thinking Johnny/McJesus are probably going to do some amazing stuff. Hopefully the Alberta teams can keep these young wonderkids LONG term.

    • cberg

      That’s definitely what it is, and looking like a possible replacement for the next Olympics which would be a shame. Its unfortunate it comes so early, it seems like the climax to the season and it’ll all be downhill from here, yet the season hasn’t even started. I’m sure I’ll be watching but with the mixed teams its really more of a “showcase” of great players rather than country vs country.

      It’ll also be a chance for the NHL to experiment with some new technology before giving it the go ahead on the NHL/AHL level. Too bad the goalies don’t have the reduced equipment also, can’t wait for that but they seem to be dragging their feet on that one.

  • The Fall

    More players dropping off because of soft injuries – even Hank is questionable now… I think this speaks volumes how the teams’ view this tournament. GM’s are not willing to risk any injury BEFORE THE SEASON EVEN STARTS…

    This is getting close to blowing up in Betman’s face.

  • Slowmo


    Tell me Train who makes all this money the players or the NHL? Me thinks it is a business but for the NHL not so much for the players. Why should these guys hurt them selves in a games that doesn’t do a Darn thing for there pocket book Hence Business. Or are they there just to entertain us hence fun. Seems to me it is a game for who ever is managing and coaching at the time I guess that is why the Best D are not playing eg Gio and Brods. Stay home Flames players including JH if no Flames players no reason for me to Watch. Just saying lol

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      Ask any player and I think they are all overjoyed to play in this tournament. Some of the best hockey I have ever seen . ’81, ’84, ’87, ’91 Rendezvous ’87 , and not once did I hear anyone complaining about who was making money. Fans are not sitting around saying ” I hate this hockey cuz the NHL is making so much money. Totally irrelevant . Are you gonna stop watching the cup finals cuz the owners are making too much money. I’m pretty sure the players are not making any extra.
      Some of the absolute best moments in hockey and you might see some more in this World Cup.

    • Kevin R

      Actually, revenues go to the league & the players get a piece indirectly because the salary cap is based on revenues. This extra revenue will go a long way to helping offset the fact the cap should have gone down the last few seasons & players opted to trigger an increase as per the CBA. This also will promote the players & the league which would be in the best interests of the league & Revenues that are ultimately shared with the players. Olympics does not generate the extra revenue for the league. But this is a high risk gimmick to most teams. If Tavares & Crosby get hurt in this tourney, that will sure water down the league games to start the season for the respective teams. Risk/Reward, a real fine line in a game where injuries are becoming an issue because of the speed of the game. Maybe Bobby Orr was right, put the centre red line back. I think goal scoring was higher when we had it & way less serious injuries.

      • Baalzamon

        Maybe Bobby Orr was right, put the centre red line back. I think goal scoring was higher when we had it & way less serious injuries.

        Only when goaltending was pretty much universally terrible, though. When goaltending skill finally caught up with the game, we had the dead puck era. The most boring product the NHL has ever produced in history.

        There may not be a lot of scoring these days, but the game is at least exciting. Reducing goaltending equipment size (again) should trigger a spike in goals, and it would make sense to make the nets bigger too (goalies are bigger than ever, the average person is bigger than when net size was first mandated).

        That is, if you see low scoring as a problem. I don’t, personally.