Sean Monahan cashes in, signs 7-year contract with Flames


Even though the Calgary Flames 2015-16 season turned out to be a pretty big disappointment, they still have a really impressive core of young talent with Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett, and Dougie Hamilton all in place, and all still age 23 or younger.

On Friday morning, they made sure to keep one of those players in place with a long-term contract extension.

The Flames announced that Monahan, a restricted free agent this summer, has signed a seven-year contract with the team.

The team did not release the financial terms of the deal but Elliotte Friedman reports it is similar to the long-term deal Nathan MacKinnon signed with the Colorado Avalanche earlier this summer and is somewhere in the  $6.3 million per year neighborhood.

Over the past two years Monahan, the No. 6 overall pick in 2013, has taken a huge step in his development and has become one of the most productive forwards in the league, recording at least 27 goals and 62 points in each of the past two seasons.

For a player that is just now entering his age 22 season that is pretty remarkable production, and is similar to what Filip Forsberg has done with the Nashville Predators over the same time period. And as we noted there when talking about Forsberg’s potential production for this season, players that produce at that level at that young of an age tend to go on to be superstar level players.

Whether or not Monahan does that remains to be seen, but he has had a fantastic start to his career and the Flames now have him locked in for the next seven years on a contract that could prove to be a great deal under the salary cap if he continues on his current path.

Now that Monahan’s deal is completed, the next move for the Flames is to get Gaudreau signed (likely to a similar deal) as he is also a restricted free agent at the moment.

Flames say there’s still ‘no real update’ on contract talks with RFA forwards Monahan, Gaudreau

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NHL training camps open in September and although most teams have done the bulk of their off-season tweaking, there’s still at least one team that has some serious work to do.

The Calgary Flames are still working on signing forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan to contract extensions. Both players are currently restricted free agents.

“No real update there,” said general manager Brad Treliving, per the Calgary Herald.  “We’ll continue to work away at it.”

The Flames have just under $15 million in cap space remaining, according to General Fanager. There’s a good chance both RFA forwards will take a deep bite into those remaining dollars.

Monahan already said he’d be willing to take less money to get a deal done, but that doesn’t mean he’ll come cheap. The 21-year-old scored 58 goals and 125 points in 162 games over the last two seasons.

As for Gaudreau, he’ll cost a pretty penny as well. The 22-year-old is coming off a season in which he scored 30 goals and 78 points in 79 games.

Here’s an excerpt from the Herald regarding these two players:

With 11 weeks until the regular season begins, here is what we know:

• Both players are restricted free agents and received qualifying offers from the Flames earlier this month. Talks are ongoing.

• Both are expected to receive whopping raises.

• Both are seeking long-term contracts, expressing that they’d like to play together for the foreseeable future.

• Both could be getting paid in the neighbourhood of between $6-million and $7.5-million for between six and eight years (if you use the com parables of Vladimir Tarasenko, Filip Forsberg, Seth Jones, Aleksander Barkov, and Nathan MacKinnon).

Thankfully for Calgary, they’ve done a decent job of managing their roster and the cap. Gaudreau and Monahan are the only two players on the roster that still need new contracts. The rest of the team is locked up for at least one more year.

Report: Rangers’ Kreider asks for $4.75 million in arbitration


The next big moves for the New York Rangers this summer are going to be dealing with restricted free agent forwards Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes. They both have arbitration hearings scheduled over the next week.

Kreider is first up on Friday, and on Wednesday we found out what the two sides are looking for going into it.

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, as well as NHL analyst Aaron Ward, Kreider submitted an ask of $4.75 million, while the Rangers countered with an offer of $3.2 million.

Assuming the two sides don’t reach a new deal before Friday and the case goes to arbitration it is likely that the number will fall right in the middle of those two figures, which would be somewhere in the neighborhood of around $4 million.

Kreider is coming off of a two-year contract that paid him $2.457 million per season. He scored 21 goals both seasons.

Kreider is still two years away from being eligible for unrestricted free agency, while Brooks reports the two sides are currently trying to negotiate a four-or five-year contract. Given his age and production, his value right now should probably be in the same neighborhood of Washington’s Marcus Johansson (who just signed a three-year, $13.75 million deal on Wednesday) and New Jersey’s Kyle Palmeiri (he signed a five-year deal worth $4.65 million per season earlier this summer).

Following the trade of Derrick Brassard earlier this week to the Ottawa Senators, the Rangers should have more than enough cap space to get Kreider and Hayes signed and still remain well under the NHL’s salary cap for the season.

The risk the Rangers would run is the same any other team has when it comes to a short-term contract with a young player just starting to enter what should be his peak years like Kreider currently is. If it gets to arbitration and he only ends up with a one-year deal, there is the chance he could come back with a breakthrough the season that significantly drives up his price.

According to Brooks, the the gap between Kreider’s ask on a long-term deal and the Rangers’ offer is $500,000 per year, which should be relatively easy to close.

No matter what the Rangers do with Kreider they are still going to be in a bit of a tough spot in the near future. Even though they have enough salary cap space in the short-term to keep everybody, it is still a team that has some flaws that need addressed.

Without making another major move they may not be able to adequately address them.

Monahan wants long-term contract with Flames, prepared to take less money ‘to be a better team’


Sean Monahan would like to sign a long-term contract with the Calgary Flames.

And in the pursuit of a Stanley Cup, if the 21-year-old center has to leave a little money on the table, he’s prepared to do that.

“Our goal is to bring a Stanley Cup to Calgary, so if that’s what it is, that we can bring other players in, to have a little extra money room and get them in to help us to be a better team, I think that’s the idea,” Monahan said Monday, per

Monahan is a restricted free agent. So too is 22-year-old winger Johnny Gaudreau. GM Brad Treliving has said he’d like to get both players signed to long-term deals.

“The preference for us would be to have some cost certainty with them, get them under contract for term, but again it takes two to make a deal here and we’ll continue to work away at it,” Treliving said earlier this month.

Gaudreau led the Flames with 78 points last season, followed by Monahan’s 63 points. Those two, along with 20-year-old Sam Bennett and 18-year-old Matthew Tkachuk, are excellent reasons for optimism in Calgary. The Flames also have a solid defense, led by captain Mark Giordano, who’s already locked up to a long-term contract. And with the additions of Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson, they’re hoping they’ve stabilized their goaltending.

Certainly, the goal for 2016-17 should be getting back to the playoffs. Like their Alberta neighbors to the north, with all the talent that’s been assembled, it’s no longer acceptable for the Flames to keep missing out on the postseason.

That will be especially true if Monahan and Gaudreau sign big, long-term deals this summer. While still young, they’re around the same age that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane started winning Stanley Cups in Chicago, and when Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty started winning in Los Angeles.

“We both want to be there, we both want to play together, and we want to win in Calgary,” said Monahan.

Bruce Boudreau’s attitude should be a boon for Eric Staal, Wild


By handing Eric Staal a three-year contract, the Minnesota Wild made it pretty clear that they believe that the former Carolina Hurricanes captain can bounce back.

Even with that in mind, new Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau seems like he can make a difference as a positive force, and that might be seen with Staal in particular.

Staal seems to think that Boudreau is a proponent of what he brings to the table, as he told the Pioneer Press.

“Bruce is someone that I believe, through the phone conversations I’ve had with him, believes in my game and believes in me,” Staal said. “He will give me every opportunity to try to rekindle some of that offensive flair I’ve had over the years and haven’t had in the last couple.”

Chris Stewart called Boudreau being in Minnesota “a bonus” after spending one season with the bench boss. Boudreau described himself as a “positive communicator.”

Hockey is a brutally physical sport, and many of the game’s best coaches are known to “bark” at players.

(OK, so Mike Babcock leans more toward a scowl, but you get the point.)

Still, with how highly trained professional athletes can be, a kinder and gentler approach might succeed in its own way. If you ask profoundly successful NFL head coach Pete Carroll, teamwork inspires people to “work harder.”

If you can get past the playoff disappointments for a moment, one factor that distinguishes Boudreau from others is his willingness to be flexible. He found a way to adapt when the Ducks weren’t scoring, molding them into a more defensive-minded group.

Now, let’s not pretend Boudreau is totally averse to screaming fits. HBO’s 24/7 series caught plenty of profanity-laced tirades during the tail end of his Capitals days.

The moments that cameras don’t capture are simply more likely to make a difference, both for Staal and for the Wild overall.