How does Aleksander Barkov’s new contract impact Sean Monahan?

The second overall pick out of the 2013 NHL Draft was signed to a six-year, $5.9 million AAV contract extension yesterday afternoon. For Panthers fans, this is a big deal, but it does impact the pending Sean Monahan extension. How much will Aleksander Barkov’s new contract affect Calgary’s scoring centre?


When it comes to the future of what the NHL has for potentially elite centres, no one should be surprised to see Barkov is in that conversation. The man-boy who is built like a viking straight out of an era of destruction and pillaging has earned himself a justly rewarded contract.


The $5.9M AAV deal which, runs through until 2022, is set up in a way that others may soon follow: the 2020-21 season appears to be lockout protected, coming in at $4.75M. Every year besides the aforementioned follows suit in standard incremental raises which may end up being a steal by its end. By all accounts, it sets up Florida nicely outside of some anomaly deals on the books still.

This should be a rough blueprint for how Brad Treliving walks into negotiations with Monahan, especially with the 2020-21 season being a season he could save money on in the long-term. The same goes for Gaudreau’s negotiations, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gaudreau get a Tarasenko-esque contract, which he’s earned.

For Monahan, at this point there is some light shed on what he is: a guy who can score; though as of late he’s snakebitten, like the rest of the team. Beyond that, his improvement in faceoffs and small incremental improvements on shot-attempt differentials give some optimism he can live into some of the misappropriated hype the media has bestowed upon him.

Still, lingering issues persist, which Kent has covered before like:

  • His two-way game hasn’t really manifested at all. Though, he’s 21, and there is still time.
  • The impact Monahan has at 5v5 isn’t the strongest, though relative to last season it has improved.
  • His skating isn’t turning any heads.
Hopefully these things can be worked on; to what degree remains unknown, but the point stands that he has a lot of improvement ahead of him. Though when we dive into what Barkov is (an elite two-way centre in the making) and what Monahan is, there are very apparent differences in the results they produce.

BARKOV / MONAHAN – The Hero Chart via Own the Puck

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 8.32.50 PM

The two both essentially get similar ice time while producing similar primary points per 60, though Monahan has been more productive at scoring goals. The real differences take hold in regards to the CF60, CA60, and CD60 measurements (Corsi For, Corsi Against, and Corsi Differential) in which we see Barkov being much more of an impact relative to his teammates – especially against the centre drafted four spots after him in 2013.

When we take a look at the two centres, side by side with this season and their career numbers to date in the regular season and at 5v5, there are some stark contrasts. A glossary for all acronyms can be found here.


Barkov’s results in both producing and providing defensive impacts are evident while Monahan, who has struggled in the past, has made strides this season. Nowhere more obvious are the visibly apparent differences in impacting scoring chances against. Again, this highlights where optimism for improvement in Monahan’s game is as clear as day.

Once more data like Ryan Stimson’s Passing Project or continued work on zone entry data is available, we’ll be able to see a player from virtually every facet. With what limited data is compiled in Stimson’s work, Barkov and Monahan are producing a very similar impact in this area. Thanks to Sean Tierney for providing these visuals:


Barkov / Monahan – Points and Scoring Rates (5v5, 2015-16 via War on Ice)

GP G A G/60 A/60 P/60 SH%
Barkov 38 7 11 0.78 1.23 2.01 10.61%
Monahan 47 10 10 0.90 0.90 1.83 12.50%

Side by side, there is little difference on raw totals at 5v5, though Barkov is producing at an edge over Monahan so far this season at 2.01 P/60 to Monahan’s 1.83 P/60 (points per 60). Barkov also missed some time this season due to a hand injury, but since returning it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat.

If we examine their regular season career to date 5v5 points and scoring rates we can see visible differences in their production:

GP G A G/60 A/60 P/60 SH%
Barkov 163 24 39 0.65 1.06 1.71 10.53%
Monahan 213 45 33 0.91 0.67 1.57 13.139%

Monahan’s beastly production last year has definitely helped him get to this point, scoring at a 1.57 P/60 rate in his career at 5v5 while Barkov steadily has produced as well (1.71 P/60). All this discussed, it’s just one element of their games where, for now at least, Monahan has historically produced more goals while Barkov has a slight edge in assists.

Finally, a brief look at their power play impacts career to date shows Monahan with the slight edge at this point in their careers. This season however, both gentlemen each have three goals and three assists. For Monahan, it’s a step back at this point from last season’s 16 points, while Barkov is surely to eclipse his previous highs.

G A P G/60 A/60 P/60
Barkov 9 10 19 1.4 1.56 2.96
Monahan 15 14 29 1.7 1.59 3.29


Given what has been accomplished by both centres, it’s all too certain that Treliving will make good on a long-term deal. Barkov earned what will likely be a steal of a deal on pretty decent results, while Monahan has goal totals in his favor for negotiations. 

Beyond the Flames having to keep an eye on this, the Avalanche and Nathan MacKinnon also will be looking at this extension as a blueprint for how to proceed as well. You can also lump Filip Forsberg (NSH), Valeri Nichushkin (DAL), Richard Rakell (ANA), Mark Scheifele (WIN), and Ryan Strome (NYI) in as players, with agents paying close attention here.

But if anything, this deal just gives a rough approximation of what to expect – which is what has been so sorely lacked in trying to determine the actual value. Fortunately, there is a lot of dead weight, for a lack of a better term, coming off the books next year which will make matters a tad easier.

Next season, the Flames look forward to Sam Bennett’s ELC in its final season, which may be a repeat of what happens here. Add in Mark Giordano’s $6.75M AAV extension kicking in until 2022, the need to add a goalie this summer, and a gaggle of other RFAs to sign which compounds potential pitfall after pitfall.

  • Kevin R

    I think that a lot of this comes down to a discussion I heard on the Fan a week or so ago and that’s the fascination and insistence of some fans to look at a team on paper and want to perfectly slot every player into a permanent position. As though a team can simply choose to put Mario Lemieux as their 1C and then, of course, Ron Francis as their 2C and so on.

  • Christian Roatis

    It isn’t just Treliving with Monahan that this affects. Presumably Stevie Y will use the contract Tallon negotiated with the #2 pick in the 2013 draft as a template for his own offer to the #3 overall pick in the same draft. 😉

  • I am hopeful that we can sign Monahan to a shorter deal. To further gauge his development. 2 or 3 years with an AAV of 4.5?

    John Tavares’ cap hit is 6mil.
    Tyler Seguin’s cap hit is 5.75mil.

    I know that things have changed since these contracts were signed. But is it responsible to sign Monahan long term for 6mil + when we still aren’t quite sure what we have?

  • The GREAT Walter White

    What would should we consider a successful Trade deadline action by BT. Get Johnny and Mony signed would be nice but not essential.For me he needs to move all 3 of our UFA’s; 2nd and 3rd rounders would be enough of a return for them. He needs to move at least 1 of the 3 bad defender contracts while retaining as little money as possible for almost anything but another teams bad contract unless it is over this year. He needs to move at least one of the redundant forwards again for almost anything except another redundant forward. Ideally we need to see some of the AHL players up here on an extended audition through most of February and March. I would like to see Nakladal, Spoon, and Kulak get some significant NHL time to see what they are, the same can be said for Grant, Agostino, and Poirier,

  • VoRaCS

    Flames fans need to realize that moving forward it is quite likely that Mony is not going to be our number 1 center, and do we need another bad contract? I like certain things about the player, but I wouldn’t want to lock him in just yet or pay him anything close to 6 million/yr. Right now he’s one of the reasons the power play is doing so poorly and without top end line mates his offense will diminish. Then, of course, he has some glaring defensive liabilities and he’s not particularly fiesty. If he’s such a valuable commodity as so many readers seem to suggest, then this might be the time to trade him to ensure that we get a premium winger to play with Johnny and Sam.

    • Marty

      How did this become the knock on mono thread? I’m glad the commenters aren’t in front office or behind the bench. Not saying money has been been perfect, but he is still the teams best Centre at this point. Bennet is proving his worth, but so far that has purely been at wing. Nothing against Bennett (in fact I have extremely high hopes for him), but he has yet to prove himself at centre in the NHL. Additionally he’s getting the benefit of a lot of the matchups that Monohan received last year.

      TLDR: Patience young Padawan

      • VoRaCS

        I am not adamant about trading Monahan, nor do I think he is a terrible player, but he hasn’t elevated or even maintained his game this season so far (for the most part), I just think it would be a mistake to sign him for too much or for too long. I watch a lot of Flames games and it seems pretty clear that he is not the one driving the bus. IMHO, one of the most important aspects of the new NHL is to minimize overpaying players needlessly. Some current bad contracts are preventing us from making trades or bringing us some talent form the farm.

        If we don’t start winning several games in series, it might be wise to play Bennett at centre (probably with Johnny) to see what he can do there. If that happens, what line would Mony then be on? 2nd or 3rd?

  • Marty

    if calgary can get gaudreau, monahan, and bennett all locked up in and around 6 mill per year than flames will have done well. no need to panic if this season doesn’t finish well they’ll be fine.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Assuming the Flames are married to Dougie Hamilton like they were to JayBo, Monahan is the brightest bauble the Flames could dangle in a deal. (I’m assuming that Johnny, Sammy and TJ are untouchables and that Gio’s age and new contract make him unattractive to many teams.)

    Should the Flames try and see what they can get for Monahan on the open market before 01 July, offer him a bridge deal or go long term?

    Let’s dream the dream and say the Flames win the draft lottery and go with AM. Monahan at $6M for a third-line centre doesn’t make any sense. However, if the Flames grab a winger, and Monahan remains 1st or 2nd centre, $6M looks plenty okay.

    Could be a lot of reasons for the downgrade in Monahan’s game this year but not all of them are bad.

    I think the Flames would be wise to ink Monahan long term. He remains one of the core pieces of this team and should remain so for the next 5 or 6 years.

    • piscera.infada

      You don’t trade Monahan on the premise that you might draft Matthews. Even if you do draft Matthews, you don’t have to trade Monahan either–one of Bennett, Monahan, or Matthews could be shifted situationally to the wing; and just as well, Monahan’s value (assuming a reasonable contract) is likely not going to crater as he approaches his prime. I don’t understand this fascination with trading Monahan all of a sudden. At this point last year, he was considered a guaranteed untouchable. Are people (not necessarily you) actually making the case that this team is so good, deep, and skilled that the Flames can afford to trade Monahan?

      Regardless, I agree with the heart of your argument, aside from your clear distaste for Hamilton–which is, to put it bluntly, ridiculous.

      • Avalain

        Ok, so obviously no one sane would want to trade Monahan on the assumption that we land Matthews. But, if we somehow win the lottery then it’s seriously something to think about. Everyone talks about drafting the bpa every year and then trading to fill out the roster. Well, when the position that we need is a 1st line rw who is still young enough to play with Gaudreau for years to come, you have to be willing to give up something substantial. Trading away a position that is deep is worth it to shore up a weak position.

        That being said, it’s a tough trade. Any fair trade will probably have both teams unhappy about losing a key player. Not to mention the fans.

        • piscera.infada

          As I stated, just winning the lottery doesn’t mean you have to make a decision. Maybe you do, that’s fair, I get that. Maybe one of those players needs to be moved permanently to the wing. Maybe you get an amazing deal to move first-overall for the second-overall where you thereby draft Puljaijavri (a need) and fill another need.

          The point is, having the “trade Monahan” discussion because “maybe” is presumptuous.

          If the time comes (in say, 3 years) where it becomes financially necessary to have that discussion (basically Matthews vs. Monahan), you can make that decision then. As I said, Monahan’s isn’t likely to become an extremely de-valued commodity as he approaches his prime (in fact, it’s just as likely his value increases).

      • The kid who was too good to go back to junior at 19 is suddenly a bum in some people’s eyes. He’s 21, he has a high hockey iq, a great work ethic and is competitive. His skating isn’t fantastic, but it’s league average. All of that suggests that the defensive side of the game will come around.

        As for the argument that he needs to play with talent, so what? Talent begets talent and very few players in the league are capable of playing with nobodies and not having their production hurt. Even fewer of elevating others’ play to new levels. I have no doubt that Monahan will end up being a stellar C for many years and if that’s a 2C because we have Bennett, all the better for us.

        • Kevin R

          No shight!!! WTF is wrong with people. Kid was a 30 goal scorer at age 20!!! Lets jettison him because he isn’t as fast as Johhny & doesn’t dangle & weave through defenders like Johhny. & if we had him play with Colbourne & Bollig he won’t do anything & can’t carry these players so lets trade him. Sometimes it’s so frustrating reading some of these posts.

          How stoked would people be if we can Monahan signed to a 6 year $30mill deal & Gaudreau to a 7 year 42 mill deal. I don’t think you can ask for much more as a GM. If you can’t have playoffs, what’s better than scooping a top 5 pick, while you resign a few of your future core players in an underachieving year for the team while you convince these kids to take a cap friendly long term deal so we can get “back” to the playoffs & win a cup. To me, that is a pretty darn rosy picture.

          • PrairieStew

            $11 m per year for the 2 of them would be excellent. I’m thinking $13m – $5.75 for Monahan and $7.25 for Johnny. Both on 5 year deals to take them to UFA status at the youngest possible age. Any longer is going to cost you at least $500k to $1m more each per year.

        • piscera.infada

          Exactly. You last point is the most important, here. If Monahan ends up as a very, very good, point producing 2C with Bennett or someone else ahead of him, that’s not failure, and regardless of who you choose to fill that “elite 2C on a contender”, you’re going to have to pay them–they are not worth peanuts.

      • PrairieStew

        I think people are making the argument that we don’t want to be tied to Monahan if he is not the player we hope he is – regardless of who is drafted this year. He might be a serviceable second line centre, but if that’s not going to be good enough, you have to keep looking. Looking at FAIL’s analysis above, there are reasons to be skeptical.

        I also think there’s a difference between exploring a trade and saying we absolutely should trade Monahan. I don’t think anyone is advocating the latter. Exploring a trade when there is considerable uncertainty is just due diligence.

        The problem is that a decision must be made on incomplete information. Hence why last year he would have been considered untouchable, this year, maybe less so. Who is the real Sean Monahan? That will ultimately decide whether any contract he receives is reasonable.

        At this point a trade doesn’t make sense because Calgary is probably going to finish low in the standings and likely draft in the top 10, if not the top 5. There are other caveats – how does Monny do without Gaudreau?, what if we had a better coach? The last point is something I would want to consider before trading the player in question.

        • piscera.infada

          Regardless of all of that, you’re missing the point (with all due respect).

          You emphatically do not trade Monahan until you have a replacement within the organization. Look, when everyone was gung-ho about him last season, I was one of the voices preaching caution. I never bought the grandiose narratives about Monahan being the next elite two-way centre, because he simply hadn’t shown that ability. That said, he still has very positive characteristics for an NHL centre, whether that be first-line or second-line (and no, second-line centre is not a failure).

          However, the reasons not to trade Monahan are not so much about Monahan as they are about proper roster and organizational management. Sure, explore the idea, see what’s out there, by all means. I have a hard time, on the flip-side of that though, seeing someone offering you anything close to comparable value for him right now given his current place in the organization. For a trade to make sense at this particular juncture, you’ll essentially want to re-coup, or better, what you have in Monahan–a young (20, 21, 22, 23 year-old) centre, who can play top-line minutes (because the Flames don’t have anyone to eat those minutes right now) at least as capably, while still scoring in the 50-60 point range (and no, the argument can’t be “well if they draft Matthews…”, because that’s pure speculation, and extremely best case at that). How many of those players are currently available? How many are there actually? Very, very, very few. Not to mention that if you’re an NHL general manager, you’re probably not going to make that kind of lateral move, just because.

          Now let’s imagine a situation where you find a nice “fit” that doesn’t re-coup that centre, but maybe a nice young winger, and a couple of draft picks. So, I’m assuming this is where you’ll say “well Bennett can play first-line centre minutes”. Sure. He probably can. However, what if, in two more years (around the same point we are at with Monahan), we realize “well, sh**, ‘we don’t want to be tied to Bennett if he is not the player we hope he is‘”? What then? Do we toss him out too? Or, do you have to hold on to him like grim death because now, you don’t have any options.

          Now let’s imagine a situation where you traded Monahan, and Bennett didn’t work out as planned necessarily, but the team isn’t appreciably the worst in the league–you have some nice pieces on the wings, but you don’t have any depth down the middle. In 2016, you found you didn’t win the draft lottery, and ended up drafting in the 6 hole. Going off a compilation ranking, you’ve (likely) effectively missed Matthews, Laine, Puljaijarvi, Tkachuk. What are your options now? Nylander? Sure, but not a centre. Cychrun? Sure, but not a centre. Something called a Logan Brown? He’s a centre, we need centres.

          So, you draft a Logan Brown (I’ll admit, I’m not familiar with Logan Brown, or who the best centre would be to draft at #6 this year, but that’s not the point I’m making here). In his rookie season, he goes out and puts up 20+ goals and 34 points in 75 games, in his second season, he puts up 30+ goals and 62 points in 81 games (looks pretty good, right?). In his third season, he takes a small step back, and is on pace for 50+ points, and he struggles as most 21 year-old top-line centres do (or would) with their two-way game. Then, management gets restless because: “well, sh**, ‘we don’t want to be tied to Logan Brown if he is not the player we hope he is‘”?

          I’m not saying there’s no need for caution with Monahan’s new deal. I’m not saying pencil Monahan into your line-up for the next 30 years, give him a gold watch, the keys to the city, and make him Stampede Parade marshal for life. What I am saying, is that this “trade Monahan” argument is putting the cart so far before the horse that the cart is careening unabated into the Grand Canyon, and the Horse is dying of exposure at the North Pole.

        • The GREAT Walter White

          I am a big Monahan fan and don’t want to see him traded, I want him signed to a “reasonable” 6 year contract.

          But having said that; Monahan as a trade piece certainly puts us at the top of the bidding war for Drouin……..not a one-for-one trade, but as a part of a package.

          Just saying…..


  • calgaryfan

    The Flames already have more than enough bad contracts that they are waiting to run their course. I would be afraid to give Monahan a 6 year contract right now. What if his skating does not improve and the league just keeps getting faster. It could turn into another contract we the fans are not liking much. Give him the money just not the term yet.

  • Christian Roatis

    6 years x 5.5 as Byron mentioned would be the best case scenario to me.

    Also, hope new contract pressure doesn’t stunt Monahan’s continued progression as it does for some young players.

  • SydScout

    I believe Petzl has a key point when it comes to Monahan. Have checked his junior scoring and at no point was he scoring more goals than assists.

    But on a line with Gaudreau he appears to be a significant benefactor of a sublimely skills set up man. So what happens when they are apart? It’s not the same Monahan.

    I love the kid, and he’s got plenty of time to grow into his game at this level. But in a restrictive cap world, I don’t want the Flames to be overpaying. BT says he has modelling for pay discussions, which is reassuring.

  • Petzl

    Is Barkov being used vs the top lines or being sheltered? Just curious, haven;t watched a lot of Panthers.

    I also think it’s time to see how Monahan does without Johnny. It’s hard to evaluate a player when they play with someone as dynamic as Gaudreau, just look at Anisimov with Kane and Panarin.

  • In the endless $teven $tamkos stuff I believe I read that Florida has no personal tax.

    That in and of itself would suggest that Monahans end number stands to be significantly higher using a dollar in my jeans comparison with Barkov.

    Or rather… could be significantly higher when considering a direct comparison.

  • Out of curiosity, in the points and scoring rates section, all of the G/60 and A/60 roughly add up to P/60 (which makes sense, taking into consideration rounding) except for Monahan’s 5v5 2015-16 comparison.

    Shouldn’t his 0.91 G/60 + 1.23 A/60 = 2.14 P/60? Or, if his P/60 is 1.83 shouldn’t either his G/60 be 0.60 or his A/60 be 0.92?

    Or am I missing some of how P/60 is calculated?

  • Byron Bader

    Good stuff as usual, Mike.

    Hopefully he comes in around 5.5. But it’ll probably be closer to 6.

    Hopefully Bennett can assume the stud 1st line center role and Monahan can be a 2nd line center that scores with huge regularity.

  • FeyWest

    If I remember correctly weren’t there similar comparisons between Monahan and Barkov? Either way I still think this year has been tough on the Flames team as a whole and has bled through into Monahan’s game, I don’t expect it to stay like this of course but would be a reasonable possibility. There is tons of speculation that whatever is plaguing Monahan also stems from last years Playoffs. Tonnes of expectations and the free fall of Hudler did not help at all either. Just need to fill our RW position through the lineups.