For nearly a decade, Sean Monahan has been a key contributor for the Calgary Flames. Taken sixth overall back in 2013, the center has typically been counted on for around 30 goals and 60 points per year. He has also been an assistant captain with the team since 2015.
Unfortunately, the last few years haven’t treated Monahan quite as well. He’s faced injury trouble, along with a pretty steep decline in production.
Between the 2018-19 season and the 2019-20 season, Monahan saw his production drop from a pace of 36 goals and 86 points per 82 games down to 26 goals and 56 points per 82. Still though, that wasn’t too far off the pace what Monahan had posted in previous years.
However, Monahan then managed just 10 goals and 28 points in 50 games during the shortened 2020-21 season, a pace of just 16 goals and 46 points per 82 games. That marked the first time he had ever failed to reach 20 goals (or even a 20-goal pace) in a season. His points per game average was the lowest since his rookie season as a 19-year-old in the 2013-14 season. Things continued going downhill this year. Monahan managed only eight goals and 23 points in 65 games, a measly pace of just 10 goals and 29 points per 82 games. That is by far the worst numbers of his career.
At just 27 years old, the descent for Monahan has came far earlier than ever would’ve been expected, though injuries play a role. A glaring factor is that his shooting percentage has been in a steady decline for a few years and he was basically scoring half as frequently on shots this season as he has over the rest of his career.
The Flames are looking to contend and really can’t gamble on Monahan having a career resurgence. They have several key free agents in Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington. They do not have enough cap space to re-sign them all. So with only a year left on his contract at a massive $6.38 million, Monahan seems like a prime target to be a cap casualty.