Canadiens Bringing Back Sean Monahan Could Be A Win-Win
The Montreal Canadiens have many roster options on the table, and bringing back Sean Monahan could be a win-win scenario for them this summer.
After being acquired by the Canadiens along with a 1st-round pick from the Calgary Flames, Monahan hit the ground running in Montreal.
He quickly became an invaluable presence on and off the ice for the Canadiens, potting six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 25 games.
Unfortunately, he ran into some injury troubles by the month of December, admittedly playing on a broken foot during the Canadiens’ western road trip.
The injury, unfortunately, kept him out for the remainder of the season, but Monahan has learned much through this process and looks primed to continue his NHL career next season.
The question is whether or not an offer will come from general manager Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens.
Monahan was a very appreciated member of the Canadiens locker room and, if you asked players like Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield, they’d love to have him back.
The feeling is mutual.
“I loved my time here. I made some lifelong friends during my time here,” said Monahan about his love for Montreal. “I think this team will be very competitive very soon. I loved playing games at the Bell Centre.
When asked whether he would favour Montreal over other clubs moving forward, Monahan was adamant that he would like to make something work.
“It’s a special place to play,” said Monahan regarding his desire to return. “You get chills walking on the Bell Centre ice. I’ll see if I can make something work.”
A Silver Lining
Coming off a six-year deal that earned him an annual average of $6.35M per season, Monahan knows he’s going to have to lower his expectations.
“I know there will be offers out there,” said Monahan regarding his future. “Maybe not a contract like I just had, but I’m looking forward to playing hockey again.”
With his desire to stay in Montreal, and the Canadiens looking for quality veterans, bringing back Monahan could sense in more ways than one.
According to the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), a player who has played 400 or more games in the NHL and spent 100 or more days on Injured Reserve (Or Long-Term Injury Reserve) in the last year of their contract, is eligible for a performance-based contract.
That means that, like players over 35 or youngsters on entry-level deals, a contract could be constructed in a way where the base salary is low, but could improve due to performance.
Here is the exact wording from the CBA:
“Players who are “400-plus game Players” for pension purposes, and who: (i) in the last year of their most recent SPC, spent 100 days or more on the Injured Reserve List; and (ii) have signed a one-year SPC for the current or upcoming League Year.”
With Monahan having played 681 games up to date and having missed over 100 games this season, the Canadiens can now offer him a unique, performance-based contract.
A Win-Win Scenario
If the Canadiens and Monahan were to agree on a one-year deal, Kent Hughes could very well use this opportunity to his advantage, as either Monahan performs and helps propel the club to the playoffs or he can be moved at next year’s NHL Trade Deadline for a nice return.
All the performance bonuses earned while Monahan plays in Montreal will remain on the Canadiens’ cap structure and wouldn’t follow him to a prospective team; only the bonuses earned after the trade would count to the acquiring team.
This means that, should Monahan sign a team-friendly deal in the range of $2M with up to $1.5M in performance bonuses, he could count for as little as $2M if traded to another club; notwithstanding the possibility of salary retention.
If Monahan can come back healthy and wiser from his experience, play to the level that he did prior to his injury, and provide a key veteran presence prior to being dangled to a contender, it could be a win-win for both parties on the long term.
It looks like a no-risk move that could pay off just as handsomely as the original deal that saw him land in Montreal almost a year ago.
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There is risk though. If we sign Monahan, we add to an already overcrowded forward group and block a spot needed for the kids to play. I understand the possibility of being able to have our cake and eat it too by flipping Monahan for an asset at the deadline and adding to the 1st rounder we already acquired in the original trade, but the odds of Monahan staying healthy enough to get a quality return at the deadline are far outweighed by the need to give kids quality ice time next season. I think we should just count our blessings about the 1st rounder we already have, and move on from Monahan. It’s a real shame we couldn’t have double-dipped last year at the deadline, but that ship has unfortunately sailed. We’re going to be entering year 3 of the rebuild next season, and playing time for the prospects we have in our system should take priority over the minute possibility of getting anything decent for Monahan in a future trade. It’s a 100% guarantee that the kids need to play and maybe a 1% chance Monahan can stay healthy for an entire season and produce at the pace he did for 25 games last year before inevitably getting hurt yet again. The smart play is to move on from Monahan.
We will have to see how the summer plays out, but I wouldn’t say no. There will be other offers.
Monahan was a player I always wanted the Canadiens to trade for, however unrealistic that was. We got the opportunity to see why during the first part of the season when he was healthy. Just always has been a player that makes the team better. Such a shame to see significant injuries claim what should have been his prime. At his best, a very good hockey player.
Monahan is looked up to by the kids in Montreal as a teammate as he was in Calgary and would be in just about every other NHL dressing room .
The Habs will have 10 or more players under 24 as they did last year and Mony is the man to help them along for another year . Should he play even 50-60 games , it would be huge for the team . Our center ice prospects need to be developing in junior , Europe or the Ahl to get maximum ice time anyway .
Very well said
His last injury was a foot injury that was unrelated to his previous injury history. Based on that fact he is worth signing with the objective of showcasing him for a deadline trade We’ll regret what we gave away if we don’t. Low value contract with performance clauses.