It is common practice in the NHL for the team or agent to look at comparable contracts when discussing a new contract with a restricted free agent (RFA)—especially in the occurrence of an arbitration hearing. The Flames have three key RFAs this offseason, forwards Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane, and defenceman Oliver Kylington, who are all arbitration eligible.
While much of the attention is on Tkachuk as the biggest RFA as well as of course Johnny Gaudreau, there hasn’t been as much noise on Mangiapane. So let’s focus on comparable contracts for Andrew Mangiapane, who burst onto the scene with the Flames this year and grabbed crucial top-six minutes.
Mangiapane has had a fascinating relationship with the Flames thus far. In 2019, the Flames nickel and dimed Mangiapane and signed him to a one-year, $715K deal one day before the start of preseason action. 2020 came around and then Mangiapane and the Flames had to discuss a new contract again, where they came together and agreed on a two-year, $2.425M AAV deal.
Now, the Flames find ourselves in a position where they need to re-sign the now 26-year-old Mangiapane yet again, after his 35-goal, 55-point season, which brought him to a point-per-game rate of 0.671. Mangiapane has now totalled 78 goals and 54 assists for 132 points in 260 games for a career 0.508 P/GP rate.
Andrew Mangiapane’s comparable contracts
There have been many similar players in the exact situation Mangiapane finds himself in, accounting for his age, goals, points per game, and reputation.
The first comparable that closely resembles Mangiapane and his situation is someone who just re-signed with the Los Angeles Kings earlier this week: Adrian Kempe. Kempe re-signed with the Kings shortly after the NHL Draft concluded Friday afternoon, where he came to terms on a four-year, $5.5M AAV deal.
Kempe, 25 years of age, is coming off a season where he put up almost identical numbers to Mangiapane, 35 tucks and 54 points in 78 games, for a point-per-game rate of 0.692 P/GP. That P/GP ratio, age, and amount of goals is as close of a comparable as you’re going to find.
One thing to consider would be that Kempe has a higher reputation around the league, being a 2014 first-round pick and having career totals of 90 goals and 96 assists for 186 points in 390 games (0.477 P/GP). Kempe has a longer track record of NHL action than Mangiapane, but due to their almost identical seasons in 2021–22, a four-year, 5.5 million AAV deal could make a ton of sense for Mangiapane.
Jared McCann extended with the Kraken in March, agreeing to a five-year, $5M AAV deal to stay with the team that selected him in the expansion draft. McCann was a 25-year-old when he signed the deal, and finished the 2021–22 season with 27 goals and 23 assists for 50 points in 74 games, a point-per-game rate of 0.684 P/GP.
Upon signing the deal, McCann has 93 goals and 112 assists for 205 points in 427 games, a point per game rate of 0.480 P/GP. While McCann is a centre/wing (the rest of the comparable players are just wingers), he still holds close P/GP rates this past season. Furthermore, while his P/GP rate is lower for his career, he has played 167 more games than Mangiapane, so you have to factor that in as well.
Pavel Buchnevich was signed to a four-year, $5.8M AAV contract extension last offseason by the St. Louis Blues, shortly after they stole him from the cap-crunched Rangers. At the time of signing, Buchnevich was a 26-year-old who was coming off a season where he scored 20 goals and added 28 assists for 48 points in 54 games, a point per game rate of 0.889 P/GP.
At that point, Buchnevich had accumulated 79 goals and 116 assists for 195 points in 301 games, a point per game rate of 0.648 P/GP. When comparing to Mangiapane, Buchnevich had a much P/GP rate in both his last season before his new contract and in his career, so the Flames could use Buchnevich’s $5.8M AAV on a four-year deal as the ceiling.
Anthony Mantha signed a very similar contract to both Buchnevich and Kempe at $5.7M AAV on a four-year deal at the end of the 2019–20 season. At that time, Mantha was 25 years old and coming off a season where he scored 16 goals and added 22 assist for 38 points in 43 games, a point-per-game rate of 0.884 P/GP.
At the time of his contract signing, he had a career total of 84 goals and 89 assists for 173 points in 260 games, a point per game rate of 0.665 P/GP. When comparing to Mangiapane, this is another player that had higher P/GP rates in both the season before he signed his contract and his career, so another potential ceiling to keep in mind if you’re the Flames.
Mangiapane’s going to get paid
Based on previous contracts, there’s reason to expect Mangiapane will closely match these players.
|Adrian Kempe||25||35||19||54||0.692||0.477||4 x $5.5M|
|Jared McCann||25||27||23||50||0.684||0.480||5 x $5.0M|
|Pavel Buchnevich||26||20||28||48||0.889||0.648||4 x $5.8M|
|Anthony Mantha||25||16||22||38||0.884||0.665||4 x $5.7M|
Similar contracts that have yet to come out this offseason include Artturi Lehkonen, Victor Olofsson, and Josh Norris. Olofsson is the most direct comparable to Mangiapane because both are 26 years old and had almost identical P/GP rates (0.67 vs 0.68), although Mangiapane will likely net higher due to him scoring more goals.
To summarize, there are many different comparable contracts from players in a very similar age range, point-per-game rate, and reputation. Looking at the chart below, Mangiapane falls in the lowest P/GP rate in his contract year, and is right in the middle of the group when looking at career P/GP. With this information, we can project Mangiapane’s next deal to come around four or five years at somewhere between $5.0–5.7M AAV.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire