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Summer Signing Series – Monahan

As the summer free agency period comes to a close MPS is taking this opportunity to review the biggest signings of the summer from a purely financial perspective. To be fair to all the teams and players we’ll be looking at we’ll be using the same set of base assumptions throughout the series. Principally these assumptions are:

– The performance metrics we want to pay for are:

o Goals (40%) and Assists (60%) when the players are out at Even Strength or on the Power Play.
o Team Goals Against (100%) when the player is on the ice killing penalties.

– The salary cap starts this season at $73 million and increases 5%/year for future years (obviously this is up for debate but it basically reflects flat revenue growth and the assumption the NHLPA uses its escalator clause).

Signing #10 – Sean Monahan

While Johnny Gaudreau has yet to get a deal done with the Calgary Flames, his contemporary, Sean Monahan did manage to get a contract done earlier this summer.

The Details

On August 19, 2016, Sean Monahan and the Calgary Flames agreed to a 7 year, $44.625 million contract extension (AAV of $6.375 million). In 2015-2016 Monahan managed 27 goals and 33 assists.

Breaking it Down

As explained in our earlier blog, point totals are fine but valuation needs to be done using rates (if this doesn’t make sense to you please check out that other post because the rest of this article/series takes it for granted) so let’s take a look at Monahan’s rates:

EVEN STRENGTH Last 3 Years Last Season
Goals/60 Min 0.95 1.01
Assists/60 Min 0.71 0.96
POWER PLAY Last 3 Years Last Season
Goals/60 Min 1.75 1.63
Assists/60 Min 2.24 3.04
PENALTY KILL Last 3 Years Last Season
Team Goals Against/60 Min 6.54 9.52

Anyone who has been following along in our series will notice that those even strength scoring rates are really good. They are very comparable to some of this year’s best free agents like Lucic and Okposo and they aren’t even that much worse than Stamkos’. Monahan’s power play rates are a little less impressive but they are still very good.

Ice Time

The other key factor to determining a player’s worth is how much ice time they get (again if you haven’t read this article yet you may want to do that so you can see the logic behind this). In Monahan’s case he has played the following:

ICE TIME Last 3 Years Last Season
Even Strength 13.90 13.94
Power Play 2.76 3.21
Penalty Kill 0.67 0.73

These are pretty big numbers for someone as young as Monahan and again it’s very comparable to the players we looked at earlier in our series. One thing that stands out for Monahan is that he does appear to kill the odd penalty. A lot of the other players we looked at earlier did not do much penalty killing and this extra ice time will help Monahan’s value later.

The Forecast

Given that Monahan’s 3 year averages are very similar to his last season it’s probably fair to start this analysis by simply pushing his 3 year averages out for the 7 years of his contract.


So this is very promising for the Calgary Flames. Although he might be a tiny bit overpaid early in this contract if the salary cap continues to grow he is going to be a large bargain at the end and overall Monahan should produce about $6.6 million/year in value for the duration of his contract. Of course, Monahan is a very young man (only 21) so it’s entirely reasonable that he might actually get better over the course of this contract! For example, although his minutes haven’t changed much in the last 3 years he did produce at a better rate last year. If last year proves to be the norm rather than an anomaly the Flames could be looking at our next chart instead.


If I was a Calgary Flames fan I would be really excited about this forecast. It’s totally within the realm of possibility and would result in the Flames getting a significant break on the Monahan contract. Of course he’s an RFA so the rationale for this deal was probably that Monahan was getting paid a little less for those RFA years and closer to $7 million for the later ones but even if that’s the case this deal still feels like a very good one for the Flames. Furthermore, it’s possible that Monahan could even outperform this forecast! He is only 21 after all and that would be pretty early for someone to peak…



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Summer Signing Series – Monahan

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