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Old 10-09-2018, 11:29 PM   #1
GreenLantern2814
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Default Sean Monahan vs Jarome Iginla - Heading into their 24-year old seasons

What a difference four surgeries makes. No longer confined to the body of a Vietnam veteran, Sean Monahan has tied Daymond Langkow for the fastest to four goals to start a season in franchise history.

Langkow is not front and centre on my mind this evening - his former running mate and the best player in franchise history is.

I will draw your attention to two sets of numbers.

393 GP 138G 143A 281P

388 GP 122G 145A 267P

The first player is Sean Monahan through the end of his age-23 season. The second is Jarome Iginla. I know, I was surprised too.

Sean Monahan has outproduced Jarome Iginla to the exact same point in their careers, and he as done it while playing centre from the moment he stepped onto an NHL rink.

Monahan had a 30 goal season at age 20 - a full three years before Iggy did it.

Sean has been used exclusively as the team's #1C since near the beginning of his sophomore campaign at 20 years old. Is he Bergeron defensively? No. But nobody is, and a massive decline is his defensive proficiency would be pretty unprecedented.

One might say 'he plays with Johnny'. Virtually every great player in the league plays with at least one other great player. You show me a star who turns scrubs into 60 point producers, and I'll show you Sid.

It's important to remember as well, Iginla didn't become Iginla until he turned 24. Then he exploded for 52 goals and 96 points. Guess how old Monahan is turning?

Everyone knows about Monahan breaking Iginla's OT winner record; I think people sleep on that because 3v3 is so conducive to stars ending games in dramatic fashion. But I don't think enough people realize that the man wearing 23 has had a better start to his career than Jarome Iginla. And he's done it while playing a harder position.

If you want to throw in playoff success, Monahan blows Iginla out of the water by this point - two playoff appearances, 11 points in 15 games, one playoff round victory. All with Hiller/Ramo/Elliot, Hartley and Gulutzan. Tell me Iginla had that much less to work with, I dare you. (I know, I know - he did. He really did. We all saw it. Still. Monahan.)

Iginla broke out at 24 and went on to score 70 or more points in six of the next ten seasons, never scoring fewer than 60. Monahan certainly has a long way to go to match that production. Yet I cannot get over the fact that to this point in their respective careers, Monahan has been better.

Does Monahan have it in him to reach that next level of superstardom? He certainly makes it look easy, but if it was easy, everyone would do it.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:03 AM   #2
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Damn monnys a boss id love to see him score 50 if anyone can do it I bet he can
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:04 AM   #3
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Imagine what he could have done with a proper RW.

Imagine what he could have done with a proper C.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:11 AM   #4
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Damn monnys a boss id love to see him score 50 if anyone can do it I bet he can
I've thought for a few years now he has a 50-goal season in him. I don't think he'll necessarily do it more than once, since 50 is pretty much the new 60.

But if Corey Perry can do it, Monahan can.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:18 AM   #5
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Iginla also started in the thick of the dead puck era....scoring was much more difficult then.

Not to take anything away from SM, but the comparison can't be made without that consideration.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:20 AM   #6
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Monahan and Gaudreau are going to explode this year with Lindholm flanking them. That line has just been pure magic.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:22 AM   #7
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Wow, pump the brakes. Iggy played with some terrible linemates and still preformed. Iggy was a physical beast also. Iggy never had anyone close to as talented as Johnny feeding him pucks, if he did he would have scored a lot more. He also played during the worst of the dead puck era when less than 100 points was good enough to win the Art Ross. I love Mony and think he is a star who is going to get better but it's a little early to be comparing him to what will surely be a first ballot hall of famer.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:25 AM   #8
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There's no chance that Monahan becomes anywhere near as good as Iggy. Even Gaudreau will struggle to come close.

Iggy was a late bloomer. But he did eventually become the best player in the world for awhile. I don't see Monahan being the best player on earth at any point in time.
Plus, like others have said, Iggy didn't really play with anyone.

I do think Monahan will have a great year though. Lindholm seems to be exactly what the line needed - he's like a younger/faster Hudler.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by transplant99 View Post
Iginla also started in the thick of the dead puck era....scoring was much more difficult then.

Not to take anything away from SM, but the comparison can't be made without that consideration.
This. And I donít wanna take anything away from Monahan, but itís not apples to apples as far as stats go. And iginla, he was a mutant among men. I donít want to even have this conversation to be honest.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by transplant99 View Post
Iginla also started in the thick of the dead puck era....scoring was much more difficult then.

Not to take anything away from SM, but the comparison can't be made without that consideration.
It's not easier to score now than it was in 1996. It might even be harder.

Here's the average goals per game per team for each of Monahan and Iginla's first five years.

Iginla:

96/97: 2.92
97/98: 2.64
98/99: 2.63
99/00: 2.75
00/01: 2.76

Monahan:

13/14: 2.74
14/15: 2.73
15/16: 2.71
16/17: 2.77
17/18: 2.97

This is becoming eerie.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:37 AM   #11
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Wow imagine how far ahead Monahan would be if he was a real #1C
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:38 AM   #12
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Wow, pump the brakes. Iggy played with some terrible linemates and still preformed. Iggy was a physical beast also. Iggy never had anyone close to as talented as Johnny feeding him pucks, if he did he would have scored a lot more. He also played during the worst of the dead puck era when less than 100 points was good enough to win the Art Ross. I love Mony and think he is a star who is going to get better but it's a little early to be comparing him to what will surely be a first ballot hall of famer.
Four years ago, the Art Ross winner had 89 points.

I would also argue that prime Theo Fleury is as good or better than Johnny Gaudreau, though people older than me will correct me if Iggy never really played with him.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:45 AM   #13
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It is difficult to compare players from different years so I like to calculate what percentage of the team's goals a player was in on. Note the Flames at the start of Monahan's career scored 75 (15 per season) more goals than the Flames did during the start of Iginla's. Here we go:


Iggy: 25.4%
Monahan: 25.0%


Barely a difference at all and of course Monahan did this while playing centre. This doesn't mean Monahan will breakout like Iginla did but it is a fun stat.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by GreenLantern2814 View Post
Four years ago, the Art Ross winner had 89 points.

I would also argue that prime Theo Fleury is as good or better than Johnny Gaudreau, though people older than me will correct me if Iggy never really played with him.
Since Iggy won it in 02 there have only been 2 (non lock out) years where the winner had less than 100 points and one of those seasons was 04.

Fleury left the team in Iggy's 2nd season, can't remember how much they played on the same line.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by GreenLantern2814 View Post
Four years ago, the Art Ross winner had 89 points.

I would also argue that prime Theo Fleury is as good or better than Johnny Gaudreau, though people older than me will correct me if Iggy never really played with him.
Iggy never played much with Theo. They played a little under three seasons on the same team, but when Iggy came along Theo was playing RW almost all the time. Guys like Stillman and Cassels were up the middle. Iggy' big breakthrough was the year Theo left. Iggy had 28 goals, partly because he elevated in the last 20 games after Theo was gone.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:13 AM   #16
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One might say 'he plays with Johnny'. Virtually every great player in the league plays with at least one other great player. You show me a star who turns scrubs into 60 point producers, and I'll show you Sid.

Jarome Iginla literally turned a 32 point Conroy into a 75 point pseudo-#1C and he never played with one other great player at forward. While he was teammates with some great players (Savard, St. Louis, Fleury) there were reasons, often off the ice, why none of those became the pairing that Johnny-Mony is. The guys he did eventually get - Lankgow, Conroy, Huselius, Tanguay, Simon, Jokinen - were all flawed players, not bonafide superstars like Gaudreau.



Iginla was also so, so much more than a goal scorer. Despite Monahan playing center, I'd wager Iginla had more shift-for-shift impact. He was like, A Byfuglien and a Wheeler at the same time.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:22 AM   #17
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Jarome Iginla literally turned a 32 point Conroy into a 75 point pseudo-#1C and he never played with one other great player at forward. While he was teammates with some great players (Savard, St. Louis, Fleury) there were reasons, often off the ice, why none of those became the pairing that Johnny-Mony is. The guys he did eventually get - Lankgow, Conroy, Huselius, Tanguay, Simon, Jokinen - were all flawed players, not bonafide superstars like Gaudreau.



Iginla was also so, so much more than a goal scorer. Despite Monahan playing center, I'd wager Iginla had more shift-for-shift impact. He was like, A Byfuglien and a Wheeler at the same time.
Pre-24, Iginla was not that player.

My point is not so much Monahn > Iginla, so much as it is Monahan is outproducing Iginla at the same points in their respective careers. Obviously they do things differently. Different eras, cheap owners, no cap, the list goes on.

And yet. Can we reasonably ask any more of Sean Monahan than outproducing Jarome Iginla after five years while playing #1C for four of them?

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Old 10-10-2018, 01:22 AM   #18
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Nice problem to have, being able to make this comparison.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:51 AM   #19
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And yet. Can you reasonably ask any more of Sean Monahan than outproducing Jarome Iginla after five years while playing #1C for four of them?


Of Sean Monahan? If you're asking if Monahan can be the best pure goal scorer in team history, then maybe it's an interesting question.

But using his center responsibilities to handicap him seems flawed, as he also has positional responsibilities he has deferred to his linemates. #1Cs are almost always the distributing forward on their line and he is not. This might not seem like a big deal but the nature of the position is that the center is allowed the most free ice and we see it often that his line has issues in all three zones and even on special teams because he is limited in his ability to make an impact all over the ice. That's not a knock on the things he does do well or even his defensive play, just a reality of his status as a #1C being in stark contrast to the vast majority of #1Cs in the NHL.

And I'm not sure you can ask more of him on that front, especially if you're going to compare him to someone who at age 24 was the best player in the entire world according to his peers. You have to ask if Monahan can in your mind even come close to that in his age 24 (this) season. What does that entail? Throwing out the elite players who dominate at other positions - Karlsson, Wheeler, Ovechkin, etc, etc, it's not clear Monahan has established himself as a top 20 center in the NHL, in a league where top teams may have multiple top ten centres.

Yes, he's a precocious talent especially with his knack for finding the back of the net.

But he is playing that position in a league with dynamic and dominant centremen like MacKinnon, Scheifele, Tavares, Crosby, Malkin, McDavid, Kopitar, Bergeron, Eichel, Matthews, Barkov, Barzal, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Trocheck, Kadri, Point, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Hischier, Seguin ... you realize that being a solid goal scorer isn't enough for him to even be considered ahead of any of those guys. Would the GMs of those teams trade those, or other players for Monahan? Or would they accept that maybe they'll get a few less goals but a more dynamic creator who can take better advantage of the free ice afforded to the center position? And then you still have kids like Pettersson coming in from behind on an annual basis.

Personally, I don't really care if Monahan passes Iginla as a goal scorer, maybe he can, maybe he can't. I think in order for him to pass Iginla as a player, he has to establish himself as a top twenty or ideally top ten center and do so without needing to rely on Gaudreau.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:12 AM   #20
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Does Monahan have it in him to reach that next level of superstardom?
Probably not. While they have the similar totals, Iginla had a better trajectory prior to his breakout.
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