Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Sean Monahan poses with team officials after being introduced as the number six overall pick to the Calgary Flames during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Wish List #22: Sean Monahan

As I get closer to winding up my Wish List, in which I examine one player from each team who I would love to see suit up for the Buffalo Sabres, I encourage you to send me your wish list!  Leave comments below, or hit me up @theamazingMrS.

Today, the spotlight shines on the Calgary Flames.  If I had written this series a few years ago, I would have had a dilemma on my hand: would I have gone with the superstar who was clearly beginning the back-end of his career, Jarome Iginla?  Or would I have gone with one of the world’s hottest goaltenders, Miikka Kiprusoff?

Sure don’t need to worry about that now, do I?  Thank you, Calgary!  Whether you meant to or not, you have made my job a whole lot easier.

Sean Monahan, F

When I was preparing my posts for the Fansided 2013 Mock Draft, I allowed readers to vote on who I should use the 8th pick.  A lot of readers complained that I had not given them the option of selecting Monahan, thinking that I had committed  a serious oversight when it truth I could not include him because he had already been drafted.

What made Monahan so popular?

For starters, he is considered a true two-way center who is not as flashy as some players, but who can dictate a game nonetheless.   He is a good-sized player, coming in at 6’2″ and 187 lbs., and plays with more energy than a caffeinated squirrel on crack cocaine.  (Don’t even try to argue – I’m an expert in the field of caffeinated squirrels.)

Story time: the legendary Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics once found his team tied late in the game with the Seattle Supersonics.  Following a timeout, Bird came onto the court and started jawing with Xavier McDaniel, the player who had been given the unfortunate task of trying to guard him.  “I’m going to get the ball,” he told McDaniel, “right here, and I’m going to bury it in your face.”  Seconds later, Bird got the ball, made a few moves, and then shot the ball from damn near the exact spot he had pointed to – and nailed the shot.  Bird, however, was disappointed with himself, telling McDaniel, “I didn’t mean to leave two seconds on the clock.”

Now why did I bring this basketball story to a hockey blog?  Easy: last season, Monahan skated with an Ottawa 67s team that was short on talent and leadership, having lost a number of key veterans from the previous year.  Despite the fact that he was clearly the one player that opposing teams needed to gameplan for, Monahan still managed to go for 31-47-78.  Keep in mind his team was outscored by 115 goals over the course of the season – ouch.  As LArry Bird showed us, being able to succeed even when everyone on the opposing team is concentrating on stopping you is a sign of greatness, my friends.  Mark my words – as long as the Calgary Flames don’t muck everything up, Monahan will be at least a second-line center in five years.

Last but not least is the topic of Monahan’s maturity.  From what I have read, he has impressed everyone he has worked with, or who have seen him enough, with his poise and leadership ability.  He was named the captain of the 67s last season and made the best of what was clearly a terrible situation, and has been working hard to make the cut during the Flames’ training camp and preseason slate of games.

Aw shucks – he’s just a good kid, folks!  Let’s pray Flames GM Jay Feaster loses his mind- it HAS happened, you know! – and we see Monahan become an RFA in three seasons!  Dare to dream!


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