Future of Monahan in MTL: Hughes makes a surprising statement and Renaud Lavoie adds

Jeff Drouin
August 19, 2022  (1:21 PM)

The acquisition of center Sean Monhan from the Calgary Flames by the Montreal Canadiens yesterday is causing quite a stir:

Following the transaction, general manager Kent Hughes offered a press conference during which he answered many interesting questions, especially concerning Carey Price:
Also, the Canadiens' GM was asked about Monahan's longer-term future in Montreal, and he made a surprising statement:
"We are absolutely open to keeping him in Montreal longer term." - Kent Hughes

While most fans and pundits were quick to conclude that Monahan would only be transient in Montreal (and would be traded at the trade deadline or released next summer), now Hughes has opened the door to a contract extension.
Remember that Monahan's contract is up next summer. He has one season left at $6.375 million.
This is brilliant on Hughes' part and is absolutely an idea to consider, because we too easily forget that Monahan was one of the best young center players in the entire NHL just a few years ago.
Injuries have slowed him down considerably, since his 34-goal, 82-point season in 2019, but with the surgeries he's undergone over the past few months, there's hope that he'll finally return to 100%.
It's understandable for most to think Monahan has negative value, because the Flames had to pay a first round pick to "get rid of" him, but they had just signed Nazem Kadri and were completely handcuffed.
If Monahan, who is only 27 years old, were to become the 2019 player again, would you like the CH to offer him a contract extension, or would you still prefer Hughes to take the opportunity to trade him at the deadline in March?
Renaud Lavoie added this, it sums it up:
"So Sean Monahan and at the very least a first round pick for... nothing. Easy enough to say that the CH will be happy with the outcome of this trade. And already Kent Hughes has said he's open to keeping Monahan in Montreal as he'll be healthy for a 1st time since 2019."

For Monahan's full media availability:
For Hughes' full press briefing:
Monahan, 27, was drafted 6th overall (first round) in 2013, by the Calgary Flames.
He amassed :
- 23 points in 65 games in 2021-2022,
- 28 points in 50 games in 2020-2021,
- 48 points in 70 games in 2019-2020
- and a solid 82 points (34 goals) in 78 games in 2018-19.
He played injured last season, but before that he was considered a good first center. Note especially here the 82-point season in 2019.
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Future of Monahan in MTL: Hughes makes a surprising statement and Renaud Lavoie adds

Where will Monahan play this season?

1st line317.3 %
2nd line18744.3 %
3rd line15637 %
4th line4811.4 %
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