The Flames have numerous items you could argue should be near the top of their to-do list this summer. Shaking up the core, figuring out Johnny Gaudreau’s future, and their expansion protection list are all top priorities for general manager Brad Treliving. Well, you should add one more to that list: signing Andrew Mangiapane to a long-term extension.
“I’d be very open (to it),” Mangiapane told me earlier this month when asked about signing a longer term deal with Calgary. After a stellar 56-game season, Mangiapane is entering year two of the two-year deal he signed in October. As such, Mangiapane is eligible to sign an extension when contracts roll over on July 28. It’s clear he’d like to stay with the Flames for the long haul.
“I love the city, love the locker room, the management is great. Calgary is my second home, so I’d definitely be interested in signing a long-term deal. If the money is right and contract and, you know, situation and doing all that…the business side of it. Me personally, just…all of Calgary has been great to me so I’d love to sign longer and stay there longer.”
A deal has to be fair for the Mangiapane camp, of course, but getting something done this summer makes nothing but sense for the Flames.
I think I’m preaching to the choir here when I say Mangiapane was one of Calgary’s most effective forwards this season. That has also been the case for the better part of the last three years. Since becoming an NHL regular, Mangiapane has consistently helped generate shot attempts and scoring chances at five-on-five and has produced at one of the highest rates on the team. Outputs courtesy Natural Stat Trick. Bold totals indicate number one on the team.
|Three season aggregate|
Mangiapane led the Flames this season in goals and points per-60 at five-on-five. Looking at the bigger picture, Mangiapane’s G/60 is tops on the team over the last three seasons, while his even strength P/60 ranks third behind only Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. Similarly, Mangiapane’s on-ice and possession metrics have him top three or top five across the board.
It’s also important to note Mangiapane does this regardless of where he’s slotted on the depth chart and how he’s deployed. Whether on a line with Derek Ryan and Garnet Hathaway or in a primetime role with Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund, the guy gets the job done. Mangiapane’s offensive zone start ratio this season was 51.3%, while it sits at 48.5% over the last three years.
The results are impossible to ignore. When Mangiapane is on the ice at five-on-five, Calgary consistently spends more time on the attack than not. Similarly, the Flames score significantly more than they’re scored on. At this point, with three seasons of evidence, that’s not a coincidence.
Finding a fit
So now let’s talk turkey. After essentially signing his qualifying offer late in training camp in fall 2019, Mangiapane got more than a 300% raise in October. After signing Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev in free agency, Calgary’s cap situation was tight. As such, you can understand how his two-year deal at $2.425 million annually made sense for both sides.
It was the classic bridge deal that allowed the Flames to fit everything under the cap and gave the player a chance to better his case at the next negotiation. Even with a massive raise, Mangiapane still topped our list of best value contracts for a second straight season. After being a bargain for his entire career, it’s time for Mangiapane to enter market value territory.
For Calgary, waiting until the end of the coming season, a full 82-game campaign, runs the likely risk of upping Mangiapane’s value even more. That’s why lighting a fire under these negotiations this summer benefits the team greatly. Of course, agent Ritch Winter and Mangiapane’s camp know that as well as we do, which means the Flames have to make it worth their while.
The fine folks at Evolving Hockey project Mangiapane’s next contract at four years with a cap hit of $4.493 million. At the age of 25, Mangiapane becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency for the first time in the summer of 2023. With one year remaining on his current deal, a four-year term would end up buying three UFA years for Mangiapane and take him to the age of 30.
Evolving’s projections typically establish a very accurate ballpark, so let’s use $4.5 million as a nice round baseline on a four-year deal. As Calgary would be buying more UFA years to extend that term, let’s estimate around $300,000 annually for each additional season added. That would put a five-year term at $4.8 million and six years $5.1 million.
I’m not certain those figures would get it done for the Mangiapane camp, but it should at the very least start a productive conversation. That’s what needs to happen here, because Mangiapane has earned a sizeable extension and the Flames would benefit huge from that kind of cost certainty.
We know that Calgary has plenty to look after this summer. Signing one of their two or three most consistent and effective forwards to a fair, long-term extension should be right near the top of the team’s list.