In an effort to clear salary cap room to incur Nazem Kadri’s new contract, the Calgary Flames are trading forward Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens.
The Flames are also sending a conditional first-round pick in 2025 in the deal, acquiring future considerations in return.
Kadri signed a seven-year deal worth $49-million on Thursday, and is an instant upgrade over the 27-year-old Monahan.
Monahan recorded a career-best 34 goals and 82 points during the 2018-19 season, but in part due to several wrist, groin and hip injuries, the veteran center has been in steady decline since. Last season, Monahan was reduced to a bottom-six role, notching eight goals and 23 points in 65 games, career-worst totals. He is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, playing the 2021-22 campaign on a contract worth an average annual value of $6.375 million.
At this stage of his career, Monahan will slot in as a defensive-oriented bottom-six forward, with the capacity to produce secondary offense, if completely healthy. Although he’s entering his age-28 season, Monahan has already logged 656 career games and though he has the potential to be a value add for the Canadiens, if he can approximate anywhere near the 60-point average he totaled during his five-year peak, it’s an unlikely bet contingent upon his return to full strength.
As for the Flames, signing Kadri is a massive coup and rounds out a reshuffling of the roster that should still keep the team amid the Western Conference contenders. The seven-year term may have given other teams some pause, but Kadri immediately projects to help a contending Flames team reach the next tier, fresh off lifting the Cup with the Colorado Avalanche this summer.
Calgary swung a seismic trade earlier this offseason, shipping Matthew Tkachuk to Florida in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar, adding more balance to the lineup. Shortly thereafter, the Flames inked Huberdeau to a eight-year extension with a $10.5 million AAV and after the announcement of Kadri’s signing Thursday, this duo headlines Calgary’s long-term core for the foreseeable future.
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