Johnny Gaudreau is the fan favorite, he was the team’s leading scorer and he was top 10 in NHL scoring. Sean Monahan is a 21 year old, 6’3″ number one center that is only going to get better. How many years did this organization covet a number one center when Jarome Iginla was one of the best forwards in the game?
Mark Stephen and I had a great debate last night on Sportstalk. In a hypothetical world, if you could only keep one because of salary cap restrictions, who would you keep?
Mark says Johnny, while I would go with Mony!
There was a reason why Gaudreau scored most of his points on home ice. The Flames could take advantage of the final change and put Johnny in a position to succeed. On the road, he was always against the opposition’s best defensive pairing and defensive forwards. This is something he is going to have to work through if he really is going to become one of the elite forwards in the NHL.
The reason I would keep Monahan over Gaudreau is the position he plays. In my opinion, it’s much tougher to find a number one center than a highly skilled winger. These players only come through the draft and the Flames certainly got it right when they selected Sean 6th overall in 2013.
As I have said on many occasions, both of these players will be back with the Flames next season as they are restricted free agents. However, it’s still very important for these deals to get done before July 1st. The last thing this team needs is for another organization to present an offer sheet to one of the young stars. In my opinion, this will happen if they enter the free agent period. Not only for payback on the Ryan O’Rielly offer sheet, the compensation really is not out of line for a 7 million dollar a year player entering their prime. Here is the the compensation:
|Average annual value||Compensation|
|Less than $1,205,377||Nothing|
|$3,652,659-to-$5,478,986||First and third-round picks|
|$5,478,986-to-$7,305,316||First, second and third-round picks|
|$7,305,316-to-$9,131,645||Two firsts, a second and third-round picks|
|$9,131,645 or greater||Four first-round picks|