The Carolina Hurricanes are said to be looking for improvements in the top 6 or top 9 forwards group, and rumors have it that the only room the Calgary Flames are willing to leave their own core is center Sean Monahan. . There were reports that Matthew Tkachuk potentially wanted out, but insider Darren Dreger quickly refuted that report, saying the only room GM Brad Treliving would consider moving would be Monahan. So, would Sean Monahan make sense to the Carolina Hurricanes?
Sean Monahan, drafted 6th overall in 2013 by the Calgary Flames, has had a solid career so far. In 591 career games, Monahan has accumulated 439 points including 204 goals, good for a pace of 0.74 points per game. He scored three 30-goal seasons, the most recent in 2018-19 and only scored one season where he scored under 20, which was that shortened season where he scored 10 goals in 50 games.
Looking at its advanced stats, it tells more or less the same story. Monahan’s expected goals this year were 14.3, good for the Flames’ third place only behind Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. His 28 takeaways are good for 4th place in the Flames, but that’s a number I won’t go into.
His luck with the puck was terrible, as his above expectation goals were the last against the Flames at -4.3, which is even worse than former Carolina Hurricanes Joakim Nordstrom and Derek Ryan. His expected goals by 60 of 0.97 are 2nd on the Flames behind only Tkachuk, his corsi of 56% is also tied for 3rd on the Flames. All of this tells me that the Flames were just a bad team overall and that Monahan has just had a tough year.
But there must be some problem with Monahan’s play, right? What about his defensive numbers? Well, of his line combinations where he was the center of play in the top 6, the expected goals against are the highest of any line combination that has played 100 minutes or more. Monahan is not the best defensively, but could fit in nonetheless. After all, the Carolina Hurricanes don’t need someone to play defensively on any of the lines, they just need someone to put the puck in the back of the net.
Monahan has played center for most of his NHL career, but he has the ability to move widely to the left wing. He has a taller frame (at least in height) at 6’2, 200 pounds so he can play a bit on the boards along the fenders. Plugging it into the top 9 formula (assuming Andrei Svechnikov is re-signed) we get:
Neiderreiter-Staal – ???
With rumors that the Carolina Hurricanes are looking to trade Warren Foegele’s rights because he wants a bigger role and more money, that winger spot on the third line is up for grabs. Whether it’s a free agency signing, another exchange, or someone in-house like Jesper Fast, Steven Lorentz, or maybe even Seth Jarvis, remains a question. This top 9 is what you are looking for to follow a team like Tampa Bay, Colorado or Vegas. A strong dose of talented players with Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho, Monahan and more, as well as great two-way players like Teuvo Teravainen and Jordan Staal.
How much would it cost to bring someone like Sean Monahan to Raleigh-Durham in the red and white of the Carolina Hurricanes? Well, that would cost a decent amount, but it shouldn’t break the bank like some of the other guys in the trading block this summer. It could look like Viktor Arvidsson’s trade, where it’s just two picks in the first 3 rounds of the draft, or it could be something like a B to C level prospect and a 3rd round pick. .
I guess it will be something around Warren Foegele, prospect Jack Drury and a 2nd round pick this year, as it looks like the Flames aren’t heading for a rebuild and instead are considering retooling in the short term. Getting a player who can play in the top 6 can be helpful, especially if that top 6 piece is cheaper than Monahan, so the Flames have more flexibility to improve in other areas of the team.
Drury is a solid prospect who definitely has a future in the NHL, but getting someone like Monahan would be an instant improvement. I feel like this trade would come through as the Flames get a 6/9 forward who could be a cheap player, a decent prospect and an early pick for a guy they’ve tried to move in the past. .
So, would Sean Monahan be a good pickup for the Carolina Hurricanes? Very easily, yes. Someone who can put the puck in the back of the net like Monahan is important to the Canes’ success next year because they need to score deep. He didn’t have much injury worries before he had hip surgery in mid-May, but he’ll be ready for training camp, so that’s not too big of a deal.