Thursday, October 24, 2013

Flames' Sean Monahan Staying Put in Calgary

He's their third-leading scorer and he's a big reason why the upstart Calgary Flames are looking more like a playoff contender than most thought they would be.

Now, 19-year-old Sean Monahan is a full-fledged pro, too.

The Flames announced on Wednesday that Monahan would be staying with the big club, and thus be playing the first year of his three-year entry-level contract. It was a decision that was made purely for hockey reasons, said Flames' GM Jay Feaster told the Calgary Herald. With the blessing of ownership, the Flames made what they think is the right decision for the club and the player, not the bottom line. “They made it clear, ‘Don’t make what you’d perceive to be a financial decision... make a hockey decision,’” Feaster said Wednesday evening in the lobby of the team’s downtown hotel in Dallas, according to Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald. “That’s what we did. We’ve seen his skill. We’ve seen his smarts."

Monahan, a Brampton, Ontario native, just turned 19 on October 12th. Needless to say, the centerman was pleased with the Flames show of faith in him. "“Once I got the news, I was pretty excited,” said Monahan. “There’s still a lot more to come and I still have to prove myself.”

The Flames have been high on Monahan all year, but they reportedly didn't finalize their plans to keep him in the fold until after their four-game west-coast road trip. Feaster met with Monahan on Wednesday morning and asked him what he would do if he was in charge of the decision.

Monahan didn't hesitate to say: "keep me."

Feaster and the Flames don't want to rush Monahan, or burden him with expectations, but that didn't stop Feaster from tossing out a hefty comparison. “I don’t know who I would want to project him to be," he told the Calgary Herald. "But I know who he reminds me of in terms of his maturity, the way he carries himself, the seriousness, the studiousness... Brad Richards in Tampa. Brad was a real student of the game. He worked hard. He was a consummate pro. This guy reminds me of Brad in so many ways.”