Signing Sean Monahan makes a ton of sense for the Blue Jackets, but does the term fit?

The Blue Jackets made a bigger splash than many of us expected on Monday, adding center Sean Monahan to their roster.
Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars
Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Blue Jackets went out and added a top-six center via free agency this morning, signing veteran pivot Sean Monahan to a 5-year, $27.5 million dollar contract.

This comes as a little bit of a surprise, because GM Don Waddell mentioned not making a big splash in free agency on multiple occasions over the last couple of weeks. But, from a roster standpoint, it shouldn't be a surprise. Monahan is exactly what the Blue Jackets need.

We knew this team needed to add another option at center, to fill a gaping hole in their top-six forward group. In Sean Monahan, they get a near perfect fit to do just that. The 6'2", 200 pound center checks nearly every requisite box for this job.

Size? Check, see above. Experience? He's a veteran of 764 NHL games. Productivity? He averages around .7 points per game. Face-offs? He has a career average around 55%. Power-play? Oh yeah. What about chemistry? He spent several seasons on the Calgary Flames, where he often played alongside our own Johnny Gaudreau.

Really, there isn't a single aspect where this deal does not make sense from a hockey perspective. Immediately, Monahan's presence on one of the top two lines, gives the Jackets a much more formidable roster. He'll bump every center in the lineup down one spot, maybe with exception of Adam Fantilli. And that will ultimately be up to Fantilli's play to decide.

This should even out the lines in Columbus quite a bit. The Jackets will now have a veteran presence to eat up heavy minutes aside from Boone Jenner, who can settle into a more suitable second or third line role.

The lone concern here is Monahan's health, which does make sense considering he missed nearly a full season due to injury. But, I think this is an overblown perspective. It wasn't a back or knee injury: it was a broken foot with a botched recovery.

Other than that one season, he's has played in 70 or more games in 8 of his 11 NHL seasons. He even overachieved this past season by playing in a league-high 83 games, due to his trade from Montreal to Winnipeg.

As is typical for the Blue Jackets, they overpay Monahan slightly; and extend the term for probably one or two years too many. But in doing so, they attracted a viable top-two line center to come to Columbus. That seems to just be what it takes at this time.

The $5.5 million AAV also won't be as tough to swallow, when you consider the fact that the NHL's cap is going up more than $4 million this summer. Add in the deduction of Patrik Laine's $8.7m AAV at some point. Sean Kuraly and Ivan Provorov leave the books after next season as well.

In the end, it's really not that bad when you break it all down. Monahan gets paid like a low-end second line center, and I can see him being that at the very least, for the first three years of this deal. If he stays healthy, there's no reason he shouldn't be a roughly 60-point guy for the Blue Jackets.

And that's exactly what they needed to buy time for their younger future stars.