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Cost For Montreal Canadiens To Keep Sean Monahan

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Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens fans are starting to call for the extension of forward Sean Monahan, but what would it cost and does it make sense right now?

Monahan is currently in the last year of his seven-year deal worth $6.375M per year and the 28-year-old is in the prime of his career to cash in on what looks like might be a very successful bounce-back season.

He’s potted five goals and added nine assists for 14 points through 21 games with the Canadiens so far this season, bringing him to a 50-point pace as of now.

Monahan’s seamless fit within the Canadiens’ organization has some clamouring for his extension, believing that Monahan would sign a hometown discount for a team he’s been with for all of two months. Unfortunately, history shows that players in Monahan’s situation do not come cheap, and are often moved at the trade deadline to further mark up their value before being able to cash in at the trade deadline.

Contract Comparables

As recently as this summer, Andrew Copp and Vincent Trochek both signed deals worth $5.625M per season, which gives you an idea of what second-line centres are going for on the open market as of late.

Both Trochek and Copp were just above the 50-point mark, while having solid playoffs for their respective clubs this past spring.

Even former Montreal Canadiens’ centre Philip Danault signed a six-year deal with the L.A. Kings last summer worth $5.5M per year, which goes to show you that last summer’s market on centres was no fluke.

The going rate seems to be hovering over the 6.75% to 6.9% of a team’s salary cap for a second-line centre in the NHL, and, with the salary cap set to increase exponentially over the next couple of summers, Monahan would be in a perfect position to take advantage and command closer to $6M per season.

The Market For Centres

The added argument for Sean Monahan‘s camp is that the pool of available centres for the 2023 free agent period will not be very deep, making Monahan a likely candidate to cash in even further come July 1.

As it stands, Dylan Larkin, Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly, Jonathan Toews and Monahan are the top-5 centres available at this junction for the upcoming free-agency period.

You can expect Larkin and O’Reilly to likely sign extensions, given where their clubs are currently at. Detroit absolutely needs to retain Larkin for their rebuild to stand a chance, and losing O’Reilly would basically signal a retool for the St. Louis Blues.

That would then leave Bo Horvat, the biggest prize so far, followed by Toews and Monahan as the top centres likely to be available on the open market.

Three major centres available for 32 clubs is sure to create a bidding war for their services, which means their contract values could further spike.  The agents of each player is sure to be fully aware of the situation, and thus advise their clients to wait it out; unless their current club overpays to retain them.

The impending reality of next summer’s free agent frenzy could push Monahan’s market value closer to $6M should he continue on his current pace.

Does It Make Sense?

If the Canadiens were ready to compete for the Stanley Cup in the next two seasons, the answer would have been yes, without question.

There’s a reason Monahan is appreciated among the fan base, as he does everything well on the ice and rarely puts his team in trouble.

However, given where the team is at, the best years of Monahan’s hypothetical contract would be spent playing for a Canadiens club that will be waiting on the rest of their young players to hit their primes.

By the time the Canadiens will be ready, Monahan likely won’t be worth his contract, as he’ll be 29 when the season begins in 2023-2024, and likely 31-32 when the club is ready to compete.

If the Canadiens could get a haul for Monahan at the NHL Trade Deadline, it might be wiser to move on and not strap the team with another heavy, long-term contract at this stage.

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Dave

Or you find a way to move Armia ,and Hoffman and sign monohan. And drouin, Byron , dadanov are ufa.

A 50 point players shouldn’t be worth more than 4.5 million on any deal more than one year. Especially in a cap world.

PanchoV

Agree. This is the kinda of player you want on a cup team. He’s a 1b center. I really doubt the ceiling is 50 points with a functioning pp.I’d give him more than 4.5 with the cap going up.

Ideally you trade him at the deadline and line up in the summer.

Last edited 2 months ago by PanchoV
Billy739

Mesar and Beck already are pushing Dvorak out early.
At camp they handed every NHL center their butts on a platter.

They were better in the Circle and Out of it.
That said Suzuki was injured most of their camp and Monahan was out on LTIR. While Suzuki might have bested Mesar who was easily the best forward in camp this year its Beck who head to head beat Dvorak at his own game where he dominated in the faceoff circle for years. Becks ability to take draws at 50% plus with both left and right hands makes him the first Habs Center since Yanic Perrault to do so.

Truth is Slafkovsky needs Mesar so he’ll play 100% guaranteed.
Beck one might argue will end up in the AHL same as everyone told me Xhekaj would since 2021-22 Training camp when he went out on top with Ghule and i stated both would Start in MTL this year. Well im saying the same thing about Mesar and Beck now.

We got lucky this years draft had a lot of players drop due to sitting out all year during a pandemic while other players normally who woulda went in the 2nd round or later rose to the occassion shining brighty. Mesar was projected where Beck ended up and Beck ranked top 10 by NHL Central scouting fell due to sitting out a season followed by a just ok OHL season last year his stock was dropping fast.

This year both are doing good as Mesar transitions full time from Winger to Center this year in the OHL with over a point per game doing well. Its Beck who’s 11th in OHL scoring picking up pace quickly trying to catch Guidon MTL Prospect who’s 4th OA in the OHL standings with 3 more points in 3 more games.

Dave

Beck still will be a rookie and 82 games is a grind. Exhibition isn’t the same thing.

Bev SENEY

As much as it would be nice to have him on the team we cannot lose site of the overall plan and that is to rebuild the team for the long term. Monahan at best with his hip injuries has 4 potential good yrs left. So he is done just when we need him and we are stuck with a $6M contract to get rid of. We have to thinking present day and think 2025-26 as potential cup teams. Trading him for another First round pick ++ is the right move.

Curtis Ault

Absolutely, that’s been the plan all along. Still going to enjoy watching Monahan play for the Habs until he is dealt.

Billy739

Unless he takes the Pavelski deal i’d let him walk.
Giving him 6m for 1 year doesnt scare me as long as its after we trade him at the TDL when he’s a UFA interviewing teams. We can just sell him off again next TDL if we’re not competing but if we are he’ll be good depth.

That said if he stays Evans has to go at 4th line Center would be his spot with Armia and likely beside someone like RHP who would be in the NHL if Slafkovsky wasnt. He played some good hockey at the NHL when called up last year one of the few then upon being sent down helped Primeau drag half a ECHL roster to a ECF game 7. Followed it up with a hot start on Lavals only consistent line together. (Anthoney ‘Laval Rocket’ Richard leads the team but cycles Centers and Wingers constantly as his production comes mostly from Power Play)

Dave

We still need some vets as we move on from many of the current ones. As long his contract isn’t too long or too high.

Billy739

Like Perry he wont sign term after being handcuffed by a contract so long.

Or if you Prefer he’ll take the Pavelski Approach giving him an exit strategy.

Maxman

This is a rebuild, you don’t buy free agents until your prime pieces are in place. You don’t get dumb like Toronto and sign a Tavares/Dubois. You stay the course, you use these assets to build, and by building, you stock the organization so you have a foundation that’s decades deep. Your building the success of the organization, not for 5, 10, but a legacy that lasts longer. There are no guarantees, maybe they win in 5 years, veterans will come and go. Emotions have to stay intact. If you have too much talent, the good news is, someone will be buying. Identify the key pieces and manager the rest, patiently. Emotion, as much as you love the players, they’re there to make a living, and the dollars are what matters. Suzuki committed to term because it made sense, it’s not a light contact for a 23 year old, but it’s perfect for the organization. When he comes out of this contract, like Gallagher, will he have the same loyalty?? The cap era makes things a lot more messy, the plan is long term, they aren’t winning with Monahan, just enjoy him and understand that he adds another element of experience that allows the kids to learn. Montreal needs a goaltender, Montembault is not the answer, as good as he’s been this year, he’s punching above his weight class. They need someone ready to leave them in goal in 2-3 years, they will contend if this is managed rightly in 4-5 years.

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