On Saturday morning, Calgary Flames general manager (GM) Brad Treliving held a press conference and announced that Sean Monahan will be undergoing season-ending hip surgery. It is an extremely tough blow for the 27-year-old, who some suspect had been battling through this injury for some time.
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According to Treliving, Monahan made his injury known to medical staff only days ago. It may help explain his struggles in 2021-22, as he was having the worst season of his career with just eight goals and 23 points through 65 games.
Different Hip Than Previous Surgery
The good news here for Monahan is that the injured hip is not the one he had surgery on this past offseason. In fact, according to Treliving, his newly replaced hip feels great and has given him no issues this season. The hope is that this surgery can work out the same way, and have him enter the 2022-23 campaign in good health.
Had it been the same hip that was operated on last offseason, this could have had the potential to be career-threatening for Monahan. Hip surgery regardless is never a great thing to go through for an athlete, but with how advanced the medical field has become, this is something that he should be able to come back from.
Treliving Praises Monahan’s Resilience
One thing Treliving wanted to make clear during his presser is that Monahan is not deserving of the scrutiny he has faced not only this season but in recent years. Even prior to his decline in play, many questioned his will to win, something that Treliving dismissed this morning.
“Sean is one that plays through a lot of stuff without telling a lot of people,” Treliving said. “I know Sean has faced a lot of criticism. I think there’s a lot of bull— out there, to be perfectly honest with you. Most people out there couldn’t play through a third of what he has.”
As Treliving mentioned, Monahan has had plenty of injuries throughout his eight-season career, but oftentimes plays through them. The Flames’ GM even hinted at the fact that there are more injuries he has gone through than the public is aware of because he hides them not only from the media but from the medical and coaching staff as well.
Potential That Monahan Has Played His Last Game as a Flame
With this news, there is a good chance that Monahan has played his final game as a Flame. With players like Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk in need of contract extensions, most believe Treliving will look to free up some cap room by dealing Monahan and the final year of his deal which carries a $6.375 million cap hit.
If that is indeed the case, he was able to record an assist in his final game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night, which ended a 15-game pointless skid. With all that being said, however, he will need to prove to any interested teams that he is fully recovered and able to play. If he isn’t, there is a chance the Flames are able to stash him on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) for the remainder of his contract, which in itself would free them of his cap hit.
A Look at the Roster Moving Forward
This news makes the deadline acquisition of Carpenter – a move that didn’t get a lot of attention – an extremely important one. He will now be their everyday fourth-line centerman, a role in which he and Monahan had been sharing since he was picked up less than two weeks ago.
In addition to moving Monahan to LTIR, Treliving also announced that the team had recalled Connor Mackey. This move gives them depth on the back end, as Oliver Kylington is day to day with a lower-body injury. In 53 games with the Stockton Heat this season, Mackey has five goals and 36 points. He isn’t expected to be in the lineup tonight in a game between the Flames and the St. Louis Blues.