Andrew Mangiapane has been on a tear this season. He is truly one of the fan favourites and is finally starting to get the attention he has deserved for so long throughout the NHL media. Mangiapane was interviewed on Hockey Night in Canada’s After Hours after the Calgary Flames’ dominant win over the New York Rangers. Here are some of the things he shared.
Mangiapane’s incredible start to the season and the Olympics
Mangiapane’s nine points in eleven games has him ranked the third highest on the roster. He is also tied with Elias Lindholm with the most goals on the team with seven, all while averaging roughly five minutes less than Lindholm for ice time. Mangiapane’s start to the season has been nothing short of spectacular. With this incredible start and his strong play the past couple years, he was named to the long list for the Canadian Olympic team. Mangiapane shared that it was Ron Francis who called to let him know the big news. For someone who went undrafted in the OHL, it must have been an incredible feeling for Mangiapane to get that call.
Time with the Barrie Colts
Mangiapane was always told in the past to take the NCAA route and focus on school. Yet Barrie noticed Mangiapane and invited him to their camp to try out for their team. It was at this camp where Mangiapane impressed the then coach of the Colts, Dale Hawerchuk, and ultimately made the team.
His parents could not believe he made the team. Mangiapane’s mother Patricia, shared on After Hours that when she asked Dale why they wanted to sign Mangiapane, he said that he did not want just another big player, he wanted speed and skill. Still confused and in shock, it was only when Patricia learned that Hawerchuk and Mangiapane shared the same birthday, where she was more open to Mangiapane taking the OHL route.
Mangiapane described Hawerchuk as a player’s coach and a mentor. They kept in touch even after his time in the OHL, and he had such a big impact on Mangiapane that he stated he doesn’t know where he would be without his influence.
Mangiapane also shared that there were no agents that wanted to represent him initially. No matter where he and his parents looked, no agent was interested in taking him on. It was only Dale who really had his back at that time. Looking at who he is now as a player, that is truly incredible to think about. This is just one of the many times that Mangiapane had to prove people wrong and beat the odds.
Car trouble in the AHL
Mangiapane and Rasmus Andersson were struggling to find a car back when they played together in Stockton in their first year. They couldn’t rent a car because they were too young, so they found an old 2006 Saturn with a tinted windshield for $4,000. Overall, he said the car was pretty reliable, yet they had one issue when they were driving Andersson’s girlfriend to the airport. The car’s engine light was on during their trip, and the battery died at the San Francisco Airport after Andersson took the keys out of the ignition.
With no other options, they had to tow the car all the way from San Francisco to Stockton. Safe to say, that must have been pretty pricey. Talk about a bonding experience.
First NHL Goal
After getting called up for good by the Flames in December of 2018, Mangiapane scored his first goal against the Vancouver Canucks off a feed from Noah Hanifin. At that time, Jakob Markstrom was on the Canucks and was actually in net during the game. Mangiapane shared that sometimes he jokes around with Markstrom that he wasn’t trying in net and that he gave him an easy goal.
Mangiapane’s father, Peter, was ecstatic about his first goal, but not for the reason you would think. After scoring, Mangiapane was interviewed during the intermission, and was given the HNIC towel which was around his neck. His father would always tell him to score during the HNIC games so he could get the towel.
He would always tell Mangiapane to not put the towel in his bag, and always keep it by his side. The interest wasn’t really on the puck from the goal, but the towel from the interview. Once Mangiapane had the interview and was given the towel, his father created a frame with multiple pictures from the interview, but front and center is the HNIC towel.
Time at the World Championships
Mangiapane was the best player in the tournament, and he really drove Team Canada to winning the gold medal. This tournament is really where those outside of Calgary started to see how special Mangiapane is. He described the opportunity of playing in the championship has something he couldn’t say no to.
The opportunity to represent Canada was too good to pass up on, and thank goodness he said yes. It was incredible to see Mangiapane stand out every single game. Scoring eleven points in seven games, and leading the team to a championship, Mangiapane was recognized as the Most Valuable Player. When he was named the tournament MVP, Mangiapane shared that he barely even knew that they handed out the award and was not thinking about it at all.
Mangiapane is just as likeable off the ice as he is on the ice
It was really interesting to hear these stories from Mangiapane during this segment. His journey to the NHL is a true demonstration of perseverance, hard work, and dedication. His whole life he has had to prove people wrong, and it is great to finally see him be recognized for the value he brings. From having to fight and claw to even be looked at in the early part of his hockey career, Mangiapane has now solidified himself as one of the best players on not only the Flames, but in Canada. That is just something you have to sit back and truly admire.
You can catch the full interview with Mangiapane, Scott Oake, and Cassie Campbell-Pascall via Sportsnet.
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images