When he was drafted in the sixth round back in 2015 and even upon excelling in a full-time role on the fourth line last season there were plenty of folks outside Flames land uttering “Andrew Mangi-a-who?”. Now, the former Barrie Colt has replied loud and clear: “Andrew Mangiapane, that’s who!”
The lone Flame to ever wear 88 was, dare I say, one of the lone Flames who could be consistently counted this year. Mangiapane was the processed white bread to Flames opposition’s gluten-free diet.
2019-20 season summary
|GP||Goals||Assists||Points||TOI/GP||5v5 CF%||5v5 CF%Rel||OZF%||PDO|
Mangiapane was the strongest skater 5v5 this season in my humble opinion. Sure, Matthew Tkachuk did his thing, but every night it seemed Mangiapane was the guy I’d find myself being most impressed by.
He translated last year’s strong underlying numbers into a more prominent and impactful role this season laying claim to Michael Frolik’s former flank on the second line. The often imitated, seldom replicated play driving 3M line seemed a thing of the past when the lines were blended and one of the namesake’s moved (RIP OG 3M).
However, when the newly formed 3M (or MMA for first-name purists) was finally and concretely united in February, it was evident the line as good as new.
On the ice at 5v5 (min TOI 100 mins), Mangiapane led the team in CF%, CF/60, GF/60, xGF/60, HDCF/60, HDCF%. Yeah, he lead the team in all these categories while being deployed against tough competition and being utilized in the defensive zone.
(from Hockey Abstract)
His rate statistics this season put him in the same points percentile as names like Laine and Buchnevich (P/60). By assists, he was better per 60 minutes than skaters Johnny Gaudreau and Jaden Schwartz (A1/60). And, in terms of generating high-quality scoring chances, he was in the neighbourhood of the likes of Boeser and Couturier. Get this man more ice time.
More specifically, get this man more ice time on the power play. Mangiapane only saw 37:39 of man-advantage time this season despite being the second strongest skater at creating high-quality chances individually with an ixG/60 1.93 (behind power play superstar Milan Lucic’s 1.94).
Again, get this man more ice.
Compared with last season
His breakout campaign wasn’t much of a shock if you watched him closely last year. He had fantastic possession numbers and sat atop the team (the best club in the West, mind you) in xGF%. And outside Mike Smith’s heroics, is there any moment in the five game thrashing at the hands of the Avs’ that stands out as much as Mangiapane’s highlight-reel tally in game one? His rise was inevitable.
He was a standout in the bottom six last season flanking Derek Ryan and Garnet Hathaway. And, while his average ice time per game was bumped up from 10:32 this year, outside of his primary assist contributions, his rate statistics were mostly consistent. He’s just straight-up good at ice hockey.
(Data from Evolving Hockey)
Playing alongside Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund certainly helps but he earned his more prominent role in the top six and etched his name on it with a permanent marker.
He certainly wasn’t at the top of his game through the playoffs but, let’s be real, the guy showed up. He showed flashes of his forechecking prowess feasting on the Jets’ defense in the play-in round and made it clear, for a second straight year, he can provide offense in the playoffs. That offense quickly dried up, however, as he only managed to score in bookends during the post-season: in the first game versus the Jets and in that fateful Game Six vs Dallas.
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) August 5, 2020
What about next season?
Last off-season there was some hardball being played by both parties in the Mangiapane contract negotiations. Ultimately, he signed what could be considered a “prove it” deal (although it was first and foremost “we have next to no room to sign our future captain so take it or leave it” deal).
He proved his worth this year. So, what does he deserve in restricted free agency? As per PuckPedia, the Flames have a whole bunch of work to do and only around $16 million in projected cap space to work with.
With a flat salary cap and some big holes to fill in the lineup, it stands to reason Brad Treliving and company might not be able to nail down an Andersson type deal. However, this management group has shown a proclivity for signing RFAs on neat and tidy, “that’s gonna look good down the road” deals. It could go the way of Sam Bennett like bridge deal, but Mangiapane would likely be looking for a slightly higher dollar figure.
He’s a luxury the Flames can’t afford to be without. Despite stumbling just a bit in the playoffs, all signs point to Mangiapane being a valuable piece moving forward. He’s a strong skater, defensively sound, skillful shooter, deadly distributor, and a feisty forechecker. For the last time, get this man more ice time.