3 Potential Calgary Flames Trading Partners for Sean Monahan

The Calgary Flames are heading into perhaps their most pivotal offseason in franchise history. The main talk continues to surround pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) in Johnny Gaudreau, but there are several restricted free agents (RFA) they need to get signed as well in Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington.

Related: 3 Most Logical Destinations for Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau

While the hope is that all four are back for the 2022-23 season, doing so may be easier said than done. The Flames, at this moment, have a shade under $27 million in cap space, but that number would get much smaller if Gaudreau and Tkachuk were both to re-sign, as they would combine for roughly $20 million. If that were the case, it would give them less than $7 million to fit in Mangiapane and Kylington. On top of all that, they currently have just 12 players from last season’s roster under contract, meaning they will need to fill some holes with a mix of prospects and free agents.

What these pending issues all boil down to is cap space, meaning if general manager Brad Treliving hopes to bring all four mentioned back into the fold, he will have to shed some salary from his current roster. One option that many believe is a likely trade target is Sean Monahan, who has one year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $6.375 million. As everyone is well aware, the 27-year-old has struggled over the past three seasons, mainly due to injuries. With his past track record, however, paired with the fact that his deal has just one year remaining, several teams may be interested in buying low on him. Here are the top three.

Seattle Kraken

The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season was met with high anticipation, in large part due to how successful the Vegas Golden Knights were back in 2017-18. Unfortunately, things did not go in the same fashion because the team lacked offense.

Sean Monahan Calgary Flames
Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Kraken’s 213 goals on the season tied the Chicago Blackhawks for fourth worst in the league. Even worse, their leading scorer, Jared McCann. had just 50 points on the season, the lowest total of any team’s leading scorer in 2021-22. Simply put, they need offense added to their roster.

As of now, the Kraken have nearly $23 million in cap space, meaning they have plenty of room to add Monahan. They are not in a position to compete for a Stanley Cup right now, so there is no real negative in them taking a chance on him in hopes of a bounce back. If he is able to get back on track and the Kraken find themselves out of a playoff spot come February, they could get a haul for him at the trade deadline.

New York Islanders

Like the Kraken, the Islanders struggled to score this past season, registering just 229 goals. Some of that can be attributed to Barry Trotz’s very defensive-minded schemes, but some of it has to do with their overall lack of talent up front.

The Islanders, as of now, have just over $12 million in cap space, and they don’t have any major UFAs to re-sign. Noah Dobson is one RFA who should command a decent payday, but not enough to ruin a potential Monahan pickup. Perhaps this is a deal in which the Flames would need to retain some salary, something Treliving would likely have little to no issue in doing.

New Jersey Devils

Heading into this offseason, the New Jersey Devils were seen as a team that could be a potential target to land Gaudreau. While that option is still a possibility, they may also have interest in Monahan if Gaudreau doesn’t work out.

Though their goal scoring as a team wasn’t as poor as the two mentioned above, they still finished in the bottom half of the league with 245. Aside from Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier, they didn’t have a ton of offensive contributions from their forward group, making the addition of a formerly consistent 30-goal scorer in Monahan an intriguing one.

Sean Monahan Calgary Flames
Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Devils currently boast north of $25 million in cap space, thanks in large part to PK Subban’s lucrative contract now having expired. While they do have some RFAs to lock up, most notably Bratt, they will still have plenty of room to make a Monahan deal work should they wish to do so.

Resurgence From Monahan Not Out of Question

While by no means a guarantee, Monahan turning things around as soon as the 2022-23 season isn’t an impossibility. Not only is he still quite young at 27, but he has battled hip issues in each of the past two seasons. Perhaps his past two surgeries will prove to have been successful, and he can get back to being the talented, goal-scoring winger he once was. It seems likely that at least a few teams will look to add him in hopes of that bounce back occurring.

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe