The Calgary Flames are shutting down Sean Monahan for the rest of the season.
With the Flames now out of playoff contention, it announced Wednesday morning that Monahan will miss their final four games so he can get hip surgery and be ready to return the ice in time for next season’s training camp.
The hip injury has been bothering Monahan for “20-some games,” according to head coach Darryl Sutter.
“He did battle through it. He’s done it not for two or three games, he’s done it for the last 20 games,” Sutter said.
“It tells you about his character and desire and give-you-what-he’s-got. I’ve said that all along about him, Sean tried to do everything I asked him to do and he did it with pain. I give him a lot of credit.”
The hip injury does explain a lot about Monahan’s productivity this season, which was down from past years. He’ll end the season with 10 goals and 18 assists in 50 games, which is a considerably slower pace than he’s managed in most of his seven other seasons with the Flames.
That inevitably led to criticism, despite the 26-year-old upping his defensive game to the point where Sutter placed him on the team’s penalty-kill for a number of games.
It’s worth noting, though, that Monahan’s production did slow considerably over his final 24 games. That happens to roughly coincide with the timeline that Sutter presented for Monahan’s injury. In those two-dozen games, Monahan scored only three goals and added four assists.
“Mony, a guy who battles through injuries means a lot to us as teammates,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano.
“That’s the type of guy Mony is. I’ve played with him and known him for a long time now. I thought he did a lot of really good things this year as far as playing a good all-around game. For him to be battling like that towards the end tell you what type of guy he is.
“He’s always been a guy who does that. He’s a quiet guy, so it goes unnoticed a lot, but I think he continues to work on Mony as a player. He continues to get better on his all-around game. Me just knowing him from right where he started, his 200-foot game, his face-offs, has all gotten so much better every year. I think people are always going to judge him based on goals and assists, but as a teammate and player who has played with him, we don’t just judge him on that.”
That was a sentiment echoed by Flames forward Milan Lucic, who was quick to credit Monahan for the toughness he showed in fighting through his injury this season.
“He’s a teammate I’ve been close with ever since I’ve been a part of the Flames,” Lucic said. “He battled through a lot just to get through this season, fighting with the hip injury that he’s had.
“A lot of people can say what they want to say about him, but at the end of the day he’s one of the guys who will battle through anything to help his teammates and try to help them be in the best position that they can. He is a really good character guy and a great teammate.”