Canadiens Monahan Trade Has Potential To Haunt The Flames
The Montreal Canadiens looked like geniuses when they extracted a 2025 1st-round pick from the Calgary Flames last summer, but it could get even better.
After taking on Sean Monahan’s $6.375M contract for just one year, the Canadiens now find themselves in a very intriguing situation.
At the time, the Calgary Flames made the move out of desperation, in order to shed cap space to sign top free agent Nazem Kadri and hope to salvage what was a very underwhelming summer.
Former general manager Brad Treliving did his best after losing both Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, but his moves may prove to be problematic for the franchise moving forward.
On top of handing Kadri a $7M deal, he acquired and extended the contracts of Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar for $10.5M and $6.25M for eight years.
All three went on to have very disappointing seasons with their new club and the Calgary Flames ultimately missed the playoffs.
However, things could quickly become much worse for the Flames moving forward.
Cracks In The Shield
After a very disappointing season which saw Treliving and the Flames mutually agree to part ways, there was also some discontent heard from the Flames players.
Most notably, the likes of Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm, two of the club’s most important players, casting doubt on their future with the club after their contract expires next season.
Lindholm, who has established himself as a bonafide top-line over the last three seasons, will be due a significant raise from his current $4.875M deal.
Backlund, who will be 35 by the end of next year, may also look elsewhere to get a true shot at finally winning the Stanley Cup.
But the list doesn’t stop there.
Former Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli, who hit a career-high 73 points this season, will also be due a substantial raise in the summer of 2024.
You can then add the likes of Nikita Zadorov, Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev to that list; making for quite an interesting situation.
Change In Direction
If the Flames were to struggle out of the gate next season, with all these potential free agents on the docket, it wouldn’t be outlandish to see a potential firesale from the newly appointed general manager, who will try to put his stamp on his new club.
Similar to what happened in St. Louis this season, the Flames could very well mortgage a few of their expiring contracts into top future assets for the increasingly impressive 2024 NHL Draft.
They could then use that capital to make trades and retool on the fly, as they continue to try and push the core of Kadri, Huberdeau and Weegar forward.
However, should the team be forced into a retool, it could spell delight for the Montreal Canadiens in 2025, as the 2024-2025 season may be a difficult one without some of the Flames’ top players.
When looking at the age and roster makeup of the Flames, it’s now understandable why general manager Kent Hughes was banking on the Flames to have a dip in performance by 2025; given their contract insecurity in the summer of 2024.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but it has the potential to be his best move as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.
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Any idea yet if any of the conditions were met in the Monahan trade? There were a million conditions in that trade, some of which would also bring us an extra mid-round pick as well.
Good point. Very curious myself. IIRC, there exist conditions where our pick would not even be a first rounder, like if the Flames were amongst the league’s bottom feeders.
The pick will always be a first-round pick.
No condition in the tree removes that fact, it’s simply a matter of which year.
The conditions have nothing to do with this season.
It’s all about the outcome of the 2024-2025 season.
Ok. I thought there were things in there about if they didn’t have the pick for this or that reason, then extra stuff got added. I just couldn’t remember what the conditions were that got us the extra picks (or what year they applied to). Thanks.
I’m not even going to think about this pick until it’s made after how Florida disappointed by getting the wildcard. That pick was in line for bottom 10 and got us another chance to win a lottery pick. 😡😡
I say ‘strike while the iron is hot’. The Flames new GM will probably want his 1st-rounder back, so do it… for goaltender Dustin Wolf. The 22-year-old has “ELITE” written all over him and is clearly NHL-ready. Samuel Montembeault is a solid No. 2, no more, no less. The move would set the Habs up between the pipes for yeas to come.
If the new GM were to trade Wolf for anything less than a sensational return he’d be run out of town by the fans in no time.