When Team Canada released their 25-man World Junior Championship camp roster yesterday, Sean Monahan wasn’t on the list. That doesn’t mean that he won’t be gearing up and wearing the Maple Leaf when the tourney commences though. According to Eric Francis of The Calgary Sun, the Calgary Flames are seriously contemplating loaning Monahan to Team Canada for the WJC.
As per Francis’ report, Flames general manager Jay Feaster said that Calgary “won’t make an announcement until a decision is made.” Teams typically are pretty quick to say that they don’t have an interest in loaning their players out for a few weeks if it isn’t in the cards though. For instance, the Washington Capitals made no bones about the fact that they’d be keeping Tom Wilson around.
Of course, the Capitals are in a very different position than the Flames. Wilson probably will learn a lot more about being a successful professional player if he sticks with Washington because the team is in contention for a playoff spot. Frankly, Calgary isn’t. This could be a great chance for the Flames to see how their blue-chip center performs in high-pressure games.
If Monahan did go to Sweden to compete, he’d be a go-to player on the roster. He’s been invaluable to Calgary so far this season, and while it’s not a given that he’d dominate the WJC , it’d still be a great experience for him. Kudos should go to Feaster and his staff for not playing the “he’s too important to our team” card like Washington.
The one hangup could be the hairline fracture in Monahan’s foot, which has kept him out of Calgary’s last two games. The discussion would be moot if he’s not well enough to play in the first place. Canada’s coach Brent Sutter spoke to spoke to the Sun about Monahan and had this to say:
He has a hairline fracture, and we will see where it’s at. They will make their decision — what is right for their organization and for the player. And if they feel it is right for him, they will keep him. If they feel it is right for him to have this experience — players who have gone through this it has helped them at some point in their careers — that is the Flames’ decision.
A final decision isn’t imminent, but Canada’s camp opens on December 12.