Restricted free agent (RFA) center Sean Monahan says contract talks with Calgary are “getting there”.
Monahan told TSN’s Gino Reda “I definitely want to be there for a long time”, adding he wants to play in Calgary for the rest of his career. He said his preference is a long-term deal, but noted that’s not up to him. The Flames are currently in negotiations with both Monahan and fellow RFA (and leading scorer) Johnny Gaudreau, but will need to be careful with regards to the salary cap.
Currently, the Flames have over $14MM in cap space before signing Gaudreau and Monahan. They should get some relief next summer, with pending UFAs Dennis Wideman, Ladislav Smid, and Deryk Engelland freeing up $11.66MM. However, newly-acquired starting goalie Brian Elliott and young forward Sam Bennett will need new contracts. The Flames also need to improve their team, following their fifth place finish in the Pacific Division.
When asked about the possibility of taking a hometown discount to help build a contender, Monahan agreed that it was part of his thought process, saying “if you’re a high-end player and you’re playing somewhere at a young age, that’s where your heart is and where you want to win.”
Monahan says he’s been in contact with Gaudreau and was scheduled to meet with him Monday night to “have a little chat”. The two are good friends and not battling about salary negotiations, according to Monahan.
“Our goal is to bring the Stanley Cup to Calgary… if we can bring other players in and have a little extra money… to help us be a better team, that’s the idea.
Monahan is coming off back to back 60-plus point seasons, while Gaudreau has scored 64 and 78 points in his first two NHL seasons.