Monahan eager to live up to contract after signing first pro deal with Flames
2013 first round pick plans to put his head down and work hard in bid to earn NHL job
To go with National Hockey League ability and an NHL-ready jersey — No. 23 — Sean Monahan now has a big-league pay packet.
The Calgary Flames, on Monday, signed the first-round pick to an entry-level deal. Monahan, captain of the Ottawa 67’s, had been selected sixth overall last month.
In a summer crammed with memorable moments, this day, too, will be tough to forget.
“Pretty crazy, to be honest,” Monahan said Monday from his family’s home in Brampton, Ont. “My agent (Pat Morris) told me to go to his (Mississauga) office. He was negotiating a contract for a little bit and I ended up signing, so it was really exciting. I’m going to go back right now and sign the rest of the contracts with my parents there.
“So it’s a pretty unbelievable feeling.”
The deal, a standard three-year commitment, features an annual signing bonus of $92,500 for the centreman. Base salary, at the NHL level, is $832,500 — or $70,000 in the American Hockey League.
“Getting Sean signed prior to rookie camp and main camp has always been our priority, and we are very pleased to have him in the fold,” general manager Jay Feaster said in a statement. “From our very first interaction with him, Sean has demonstrated a seriousness of purpose and a steadfast resolve to be the very best player he can be, and his character and work ethic have continued to shine through in his preparation this summer. Not only is Sean a very good hockey player, but he is a great person as well. He had a solid showing at our recent development camp, and, as we shared with him afterward, we look forward to watching him play at our rookie tournament in Penticton, and then attempt to compete for a spot at main camp in Calgary.”
With performance incentives — worth up to $850,000 yearly — Monahan’s contract carries a potential average annual value of $1.775 million.
“There really wasn’t much to negotiate,” said Monahan, who turns 19 in October. “The contract (finalization) is over. Now the real work is still there . . . a lot of hard work to prove why I got the contract.”
Monahan, by the way, has no immediate plans for his new-found cash.
“Just save it,” he said. “Whatever comes up, I’ll be able to use my own money now.”
Besides, the boy really hasn’t much time for shopping sprees.
Monahan attends Canada’s world junior camp next month in Brossard, Que., and Lake Placid, N.Y. Then he plans to skate with the 67’s, before reporting to the Flames’ rookie camp Sept. 3. After the Young Guns tourney in Penticton, he’ll march directly into the club’s main auditions, where he’s expected to get a long look.
“I’m just going to bury my head,” Monahan said, “and do whatever I can at camp with Calgary.”
In a preview of sorts, Monahan had appeared at the Flames’ development jamboree last week. One of five first-round picks on the ice, he was nonetheless blown away by a fourth-rounder, Johnny Gaudreau, who had been his linemate for both scrimmages.
“A real special player,” said Monahan, “and it was just awesome being able to play with him.”
Monahan also made sure that he took care of his own business at WinSport’s Ice Complex.
“I did what I wanted to do,” said the six-foot-two, 195-pounder. “I think I did pretty good in the fitness testing, I worked hard on the ice and tried to do the things I’m good at, I tried to be good with the fans, and just be the person I am. It went well and, obviously, resulted in a contract, which is pretty nice.”
C-NOTES: The Flames’ other first-round selections — RW Emile Poirier and LW Morgan Klimchuk — remain unsigned, as does restricted free agent D T.J. Brodie . . . No Flames are invited to Canada’s Olympic orientation camp, Aug. 25-28, in Calgary. Former Flames in attendance include D Dion Phaneuf and D Jay Bouwmeester. However, no RW Jarome Iginla.
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