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Sean Monahan signs seven-year contract with Flames

Restricted free agent center 'wouldn't want to be anywhere else'

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- Restricted free agent center Sean Monahan signed a seven-year contract with the Calgary Flames on Friday. Financial terms of the contract were not released, but Sportsnet reported it has an average annual value of $6.375 million, for a total value of $44.625 million.

"It's been a long negotiation," Monahan said. "It's a pretty emotional day for me. I'm just so happy to be here and have people to have that confidence in me for the next seven years. I'm so excited to be here. This is where I wanted to be and a seven-year commitment is huge. To play here is pretty special. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. This is a real exciting time for me. It's a special day.

"It still hasn't really kicked in. … It doesn't feel real. Everyone wants a lot of money, but at the end of the day I'm 21 years old. I want to play hockey. I want to win a championship. That's my goal and that's what I'm going to try to do here."

Monahan was second on the Flames last season with 27 goals, five game-winning goals, seven power-play goals and 63 points in 81 games.

He's scored at least 20 goals in each of his first three seasons in the NHL, including 31 goals in 2014-15, and he's had at least 60 points in back-to-back straight seasons.

Video: CGY@ARI: Monahan breaks tie late in 2nd period

Monahan was selected by the Flames with the sixth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft. He has 80 goals and 159 points in 237 NHL games, and has missed nine games in three seasons.

"This agreement not only speaks to what Sean's done in the League, but where he's going and what we think he's going to do," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. "This is a young player who has established himself as a top player, an important player in the League, but is still in a growth pattern. This is a young guy who's going to get better.

"He represents the commitment that we have to grow this group. Sean has been an important player in his three years, coming in at the tender age of 18. He represents an important player as we grow forward and move forward as an organization."

Treliving said he never was concerned that an agreement wouldn't be reached.

"Every contract is a little unique," he said. "Every player has some uniqueness. Sean has done some things in his career that has put him at a certain level. You want to be fair. This is a fair contract, but it's got to work for both sides. You take into consideration the player, you take into consideration the team and what we're trying to accomplish.

"I know you get wrapped up in timeframes and dates, but the reality is that there are still players in Sean's situation in terms of restricted free agents that still haven't signed. Every contract has its own nuance. We worked hard at it. The important thing is not necessarily when. We've still got time here before the season starts. But it's getting to a good conclusion. We did that here today."

The Flames still need to re-sign restricted free agent forwards Johnny Gaudreau, who led the Flames with 30 goals and 78 points last season, and Freddie Hamilton.

Gaudreau and Monahan have been linemates the past two seasons, and have combined for 112 goals and 267 points.

Video: CGY@MTL: Monahan tallies two goals in victory

"We'll continue to work on Johnny," Treliving said. "He's another important player and a good young player for us. As with Sean, I'm confident we'll get to the finish line at some point there and have a deal that works for everyone."

The Flames have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs once in Monahan's three seasons. They finished 10 points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card from the Western Conference last season.

He's more than motivated to return to the postseason.

"It's about winning and that's what I'm committed to do here," Monahan said. "I want to win. That's the goal. A seven-year commitment is special. I'm so happy that it's done and now we can get going and try to win a championship here.

"I want to be here and I want to win here. I've talked to a lot of guys who have been here for a long time and guys that have retired and have won the Stanley Cup here. It's a special city to play in. It's home now. I'm excited to be here and I couldn't be happier to be here."

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