Calgary Flames

A tribute to Sean Monahan’s Calgary Flame career

The news of Sean Monahan being traded to the Montreal Canadiens will go down as a part of one of the biggest rollercoaster days in the history of the Calgary Flames organization, and a few of them all happened in the 2022 offseason.

After news broke that the Flames had signed Nazem Kadri to a seven-year, $49M contract, fans eagerly awaited the corresponding salary cap move to accommodate him. Although most assumed (or hoped) it would be Milan Lucic shipping up to Boston or somewhere on the west coast, it actually turned out to be one of the longest tenured Flames in Monahan instead.

Sitting just behind Mikael Backlund in terms of games played as a Flame, Monahan was the final “core” piece shipped off this offseason. He joins former linemate Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk’s as well-noted departures.

While Gaudreau’s decision left fans angered, and Tkachuk slightly less so, Monahan’s departure has left most of the fanbase conflicted and saddened. Although the move made the most sense from a roster perspective, Monahan was such a core piece for a long time within the organization that being a salary cap dump seems almost wrong for the player.

After nine seasons wearing the Flaming C, we thought it would be fitting to take a look back at his on- and off-ice contributions that will be sorely missed.

Monahan’s on-ice performance

Monahan suited up for 656 games as a member of the Calgary Flames, which puts him ninth all-time in franchise history. His nine seasons also just puts him outside of the top ten after Gary Roberts and T.J. Brodie.

Monahan was most well known for his goal scoring abilities during his Flames tenure. His 212 goals placed him eighth all time in Flames history, but was just four goals shy from moving up into sixth place above Lanny McDonald. He also most notably started his NHL career by scoring 20 goals in seven straight seasons, until injuries caught up to him.

Although goals were his main attraction, Monahan was able to put up a total of 462 points in his 656 games as a Flame. This was good enough to make him to eleventh in team history. However, he will most likely be passed by Backlund some time in 2022–23. 

Monahan’s most notorious recognition on the ice famously came after the sixty minutes were finished. “Mr. Overtime” was notorious for scoring the most timely goals during the extra frame, recording eleven of them. That was good enough for a tie for first with Gaudreau, although the honours of being an overtime phenom will belong to Monahan over his long-time linemate. 

If not for Monahan’s recent, yet extensive, injury problems, he very well might still be a perennial 20-goal scorer, and could have been an effective top-six player. Unfortunately, he gave his body and more to the the Flames and it truly impacted his on-ice performance and long-term fit with the team. The main thing to note about his injury history, was that he never complained and consistently battled it out for his team and this city.

Monahan’s off-ice contributions

More importantly than his on the ice contributions, Monahan was one of the most involved Flames players in the community.

His most notable causes during his time with the Flames included work with the Ronald McDonald House and Big Brothers Big Sisters. During the 2017–18 season, he donated nearly $20,000 of his own money to the Ronald McDonald House and frequently purchased tickets for families to attend games. He did the same for the Big Brothers Big Sisters All-Stars for Kids and Big Goals for Kids programs in which he would donate $750 of his own money for each goal scored.

Spoiler alert, the man scored a lot of goals.

Monahan was also a frequent participant in the Calgary Pride parade alongside former captain Mark Giordano, and even purchased masks to donate to the Foothills Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was for these reasons, the constant leading by example, that Monahan was a core member of the leadership group in Calgary and was a strong candidate for the captaincy during his tenure.

The best Sean Monahan moments

There are simply too many memories that come to mind when you think Monahan and Calgary Flames, but here are a few that are worth highlighting: 

  • Boring Sean Monahan: The famous Twitter account, whose owner still remains a mystery to this day, brought far too many laughs to Flames Twitter thanks to the dry but somehow relatable humour.
  • One and Only Hat Trick: Although he scored 212 goals, Monahan only registered one hat trick during his time as a Flame. This came against Philadelphia on November 18, 2017 with his former teammate Brian Elliott in net. The true highlight of his hat trick was Kris Versteeg’s off-color comment after his first goal.
  • Tweener – Monahan’s Version: Taking notes from his teammate Tkachuk, Monahan would net his prettiest goal as a Flame against the Senators.
  • Monahan and Bouma’s House Tour: One of the most notable segments from the Flames’ digital media was touring the players’ homes. Can’t beat Monahan zipping his own hair. 
  • 2013 NHL Draft: After a tough season, the 2013 NHL Draft was going to be an important one. With the sixth selection in that draft, the Flames took Monahan and you just knew he was going to be an important piece for the team moving forward. Guess what—he was.

The Flames are going to look completely different next year and although they may be slightly better on paper, the Flames said adieu to a great player and human yesterday.

Here’s to hoping that Monahan gets things back on track and signs back in Calgary in a year. 

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