Tuesday was a day of action for Brad Treliving and the Calgary Flames. They extended AHL forward Martin Pospisil, announced the name for their new AHL affiliate as the Calgary Wranglers, and re-signed restricted free agents (RFA) Oliver Kylington and Andrew Mangiapane.
Mangiapane’s contract details
The Flames re-signed Mangiapane to a three-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.8M, and he will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) when this contract is up. This new three-year deal buys his final RFA year and two UFA years. Mangiapane had an arbitration hearing on August 5, so him and the Flames settled three days in advance, avoiding all of the drama and bad emotions that can come out of that.
The lack of term may surprise some, but Mangiapane held leverage in this contract negotiation because he was only one year from free agency. After being nickel and dimed in his last few contracts, it makes sense that Mangiapane and his agent would come to bat this time around, and putting up 25 goals in 2021–22 certainly helped. Upon researching comparable contracts for Mangiapane, I had projected a four- or five-year deal at an AAV between $5 and 5.7M AAV, so the predictions were a tad low on the AAV and a tad high on the years, demonstrating the leverage that Mangiapane held this time around.
Mangiapane’s on-ice performance
Mangiapane had a breakout season in 2021–22, cementing himself as a top-six forward and setting career-highs in all major statistical categories. The 5’10”, 184 lbs winger put up 35 goals and added 20 assists for 55 points in 82 games (0.67 P/GP), which shattered his previous career-highs. Mangiapane’s 35 goals tied himself for 25th in the league last year in that category, with the likes of Timo Meier, Mitch Marner, Josh Norris, and Adrian Kempe.
Mangiapane put up those 35 goals while playing on a shutdown line at 5v5 and not seeing first unit power play time until the end of the regular season. While his statistical numbers improved, so did his underlying metrics, which continue to show just how good of a player Mangiapane is.
Starting with his isolated 5v5 impact from HockeyViz.com, you can see how good of a player Mangiapane has been in his career, and how he got even better in 2021–22. Mangiapane has posted consistent good results in both the offensive and defensive ends, with significant contributions in and around the net front. Calgary was also a significantly better team in the offensive and defensive zones at 5v5 when Mangiapane was on the ice compared to when he wasn’t.
Moving on to the WAR percentile chart courtesy of JFreshHockey, we can see again that Andrew Mangiapane is such a good hockey player, with great even strength offence and defence, penalty kill, goal scoring and finishing ability. One thing to note on Mangiapane’s card is the competition percentage being lower than other values, so he posted these excellent numbers when he wasn’t playing against the opponents’ top players.
As Mangiapane progresses and earns more ice time, one would expect the competition value to increase and other numbers to regress a bit, but should perform well above his value through this three-year contract.
Mangiapane checks out as one of the best possession, net-front, and defensive players among NHL forwards, coupled with good rush offence and volume shooting. Mangiapane is a very rare player to find in the NHL, as he checks so many boxes and can provide to a team in so many different ways, he holds so much value.
Upon re-signing Mangiapane, the Flames top-six is cemented as follows:
Huberdeau ($5.9M) – Lindholm ($4.85M) – Toffoli ($4.25M)
Mangiapane ($5.8M) – Backlund ($5.35M) – Coleman ($4.9M)
Certainly not the same top line that obliterated other teams last season, but the shutdown second line that was highly effective last season remains together. With the shiny new contract, there’s even a case Mangiapane should be played on the first line.
The bottom-six projects something like:
Pelletier ($863K) – Monahan ($6.38M) – Dube ($2.3M)
Lucic ($5.25M) – Rooney ($1.3M) – Lewis ($800K)
That bottom-six remains a concern, as you have a rookie and a player coming back from another significant injury both playing on the third line, with a fourth line that doesn’t exactly scream at you. Addressing the bottom-six will certainly become the priority for Brad Treliving and co. as players on the free agent market begin to lower their asking prices as teams begin to fill up. I would expect at least two more NHL calibre forwards brought in before the season starts, whether that is via trade, free agency, or professional try-out agreement.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire