Sean Monahan: the decline of a former first center

Sean Monahan: the downfall of a former first center< /p> UPDATE DAY

Even though he is only 27 years old, Montreal Canadiens newcomer Sean Monahan has already played 656 games in the National Hockey League (NHL), in which he has seen his star is fading…and almost dying. 

Here are five things to know about the Canadian center, who was once recognized as a top-line player on the Bettman Tour.

In the NHL at 18

Selected sixth overall in the 2013 class by the Calgary Flames – three levels behind Jonathan Drouin – Monahan was called up a few months later to make his NHL debut, at age 18. He will spend the entire season in the Alberta city, scoring 22 goals and 34 points in 75 games, and will not play a single game with the Flames farm club.

A scorer of 30 goals

In his second season in the league, Monahan began a five-season streak in which he threaded the needle at least 27 times each year. In 2018-2019, he had the best season of his career, by far, thanks to a collection of 34 goals and 82 points. Since then, Monahan has done much worse, scoring only 40 goals and 99 points in 185 games.

Subscriber to the infirmary

It's not obvious from his stats since he's played at least 70 games in seven of his nine NHL seasons, but Monahan has a heavy medical history. His ordeal began in 2017, when he underwent surgery on his left wrist. The following year, he went under the knife four times, healing two herniated discs, another wrist problem and a groin injury. He finally had surgery on his left hip in 2021, then on his right in 2022.

A Dizzying Fall

Slowed down by injuries, Monahan has seen his role gradually diminish since the 2019-20 season. While Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund were surrounded by talented wingers like Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane, the Brampton native was used on the Flames' third and fourth units. He was even dropped from the roster by head coach Darryl Sutter last season, who was unhappy with Monahan's meager production (23 points in 65 games).

A contract colossal

In 2016, at the end of his entry-level contract with the Flames, Monahan put his signature on the bottom of a seven-year deal worth $6.375 million annually . If this pact initially made Brad Treliving look like a fine negotiator, it is more of a stain on his record today. After the departure of Tkachuk and Gaudreau and before the signing of Nazem Kadri, no player was paid as well as Monahan with the Flames.