Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Focus Shifts to Unsigned Gaudreau after Flames Lock Up Monahan for Seven Years

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Focus Shifts to Unsigned Gaudreau after Flames Lock Up Monahan for Seven Years

Article excerpt

Flames sign Monahan to seven-year extension

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CALGARY - Focus on Sean Monahan's big day very quickly shifted to his unsigned Calgary Flames running mate, Johnny Gaudreau.

Monahan signed a seven-year contract extension worth a reported US$44.6 million on Friday morning, leaving Gaudreau as the last remaining domino to fall in a busy Flames off-season. The 23-year-old is still without a new contract for next season.

"Today's about Sean," Brad Treliving, the club's general manager, insisted to reporters at a news conference in Calgary. "This is his day."

"I don't want to play anywhere else," Monahan said. "I would sign as long as I could and I think we found seven years fit. It was fair for both of us."

The former sixth overall pick has quickly established himself as a precocious two-way force for the Flames, an impact performer almost from the day he entered the NHL as an 18 year old in 2013.

He scored 22 goals as a rookie that season before exploding for a career-high 31 goals and 62 points as a sophomore. The Brampton, Ont., native maintained that level of production with 27 goals last year, mostly alongside Gaudreau, adding a career-best 36 assists and 20 power-play points.

Monahan has actually topped all players from his 2013 draft class in goals (80) and points (159), outpacing No. 1 overall pick Nathan Mackinnon (59 goals and 153 points) as well as Aleksander Barkov (52, 119), the Florida Panthers' young star.

"When you look at his production, when you look at what Sean's done over the three years, he's been at the high-end of that level," Treliving said.

Monahan, whose serious demeanour at a young age has inspired a satirical Twitter account (@Boring Sean Monahan), is already doing just about everything for Calgary: he kills penalties, makes an imprint on the power play, wins 51 per cent of his draws, posts positive puck possession stats and scores a bunch of goals.

In fact, only 20 players have scored more than him over the last three seasons, all the more impressive given that he won't turn 22 until October.

Treliving said the deal, which keeps Monahan under contract until 2023, was as much about what Monahan had done already as what he stood to accomplish down the line. …

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