Carolina Hurricanes: Does Acquiring Sean Monahan Make Sense?

Mar 7, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (23) skates with the puck against the Ottawa Senators during the overtime period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (23) skates with the puck against the Ottawa Senators during the overtime period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly looking for upgrades in the top 6 or top 9 forward group, and rumors would have it that the only piece that the Calgary Flames are willing to move out of their own core is center Sean Monahan. There were reports that Matthew Tkachuk potentially wanted out, but insider Darren Dreger refuted that report quickly, saying that the only piece that GM Brad Treliving would consider moving would be Monahan. So, would Sean Monahan make sense for the Carolina Hurricanes?

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Sean Monahan, drafted 6th overall in 2013 by the Calgary Flames, has had a solid career up until this point. In 591 career games, Monahan has 439 points including 204 goals, good for a .74 points per game pace. He has put up three 30-goal seasons, most recently in 2018-2019 and only has one season where he put up less than 20 goals, which was this shortened season where he had 10 goals in 50 games.

Looking at his advanced stats, it tells more or less the same story. Monahan’s expected goals this year was 14.3, good for 3rd on the Flames only behind Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. His 28 takeaways are good for 4th on the Flames, but that is a number I’m not going to look at too deeply.

His puck luck was terrible, as his goals above expected was dead last on the Flames at -4.3, which is even worse than former Carolina Hurricanes Joakim Nordstrom and Derek Ryan. His expected goals per 60 of 0.97 is 2nd on the Flames behind only Tkachuk, his corsi of 56% is tied for 3rd on the Flames as well.  All of that just tells me that the Flames were overall just a bad team and that Monahan just had a rough year.

But there has to be a issue with Monahan’s game, right? What about his defensive numbers? Well, out of his line combinations that he was the center of playing in the top 6, the expected goals against is the highest out of all line combinations that played at least 100 minutes. Monahan isn’t the best defensively, but could still fit in. After all, the Carolina Hurricanes don’t need someone to play defensive 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 does have the ability to move out wide to the left wing. He has a larger frame (at least height-wise) at 6’2, 200 pounds so he can play somewhat on the boards along the wings. Plugging him to the top 9 formula (assuming Andrei Svechnikov gets re-signed), we get:




With rumors that the Carolina Hurricanes are looking to trade Warren Foegele‘s rights as he wants a larger role and more money, that winger spot on the third line is up for grabs. Whether that be a free agency signing, another trade, or someone internally like Jesper Fast, Steven Lorentz, or maybe even Seth Jarvis, remains a question. This top 9 is what you are looking for to keep up with a team like Tampa Bay, Colorado, or Vegas. A heavy dose of skill players with Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho, Monahan and more, plus great two-way players like Teuvo Teravainen and Jordan Staal.

What would it cost to get someone like Sean Monahan to Raleigh-Durham into the red and white of the Carolina Hurricanes? Well, it would cost a decent amount, but it shouldn’t break the bank like some other guys on the trade block this summer. It could look something like the Viktor Arvidsson trade, where it is just two picks in the first 3 rounds of the draft, or it could be something like a B to C-tier prospect and a 3rd round pick.

My guess is actually going to be something around Warren Foegele, prospect Jack Drury, and a 2nd round pick this year as it seems like the Flames aren’t headed toward a rebuild and are instead looking at a short-term retool. Getting a player that 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 get better in other areas of the team.

Drury is a solid prospect that definitely has an NHL future, but getting someone like Monahan would be an instant improvement. I feel as if this trade would go through, as the Flames get a top 6/9 forward that could be a cheap player, a decent prospect, and an early pick for a guy they’ve tried moving 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 can is important to the Canes’ success next year as they are in need of depth scoring. He didn’t have a ton of injury concern before having hip surgery in the middle of May, but he’ll be ready for training camp so it isn’t too big a deal.

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