The last four games of the season for the Calgary Flames are not really worth anything, given the North Division playoff spots are already decided. So why not get a head start on injury rehab? Sean Monahan will not play again this season and is scheduled for hip surgery next week. The Flames expect Monahan to be a full participant in training camp for next season.
It was a disappointing year for the 26-year-old center, who scored just ten goals in 50 games and registered a career-low 28 points. Monahan had scored at least 22 goals in every season of his career to this point, a pace he wasn’t on even if this season had been a full 82. He actually had 15 points in his first 20 games of the year, but managed just five goals and ten points in the 26 games with Darryl Sutter behind the bench. His ice time in those games was also greatly reduced, totaling fewer than 15 minutes on several occasions down the stretch.
While a hip injury could obviously be a part of those struggles, Sutter wasn’t afraid of calling out his best forwards when they couldn’t find the back of the net. Monahan was moved to the wing for the Flames a few days ago, a surprise that complicates the offseason even further. The team quite obviously needs a refresh if they want to compete for the postseason next year, but Monahan has been entrenched as a center for the last eight years in Calgary. If Sutter, who it should be noted has also pointed out the positives in Monahan’s game several times during his tenure (and even before it), believes that he’s no longer best-suited for the middle of the ice, perhaps they target another center to take his place.
Monahan has two years remaining on his contract and carries a $6.375MM cap hit. His deal also includes a 10-team no-trade list.