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Andrew Mangiapane had a disappointing 2023-24 season for the Calgary Flames

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
1 month ago
Expectations were high for Andrew Mangiapane heading into the 2023-24 season. Last year he scored 17 goals while playing with an injured shoulder. Two years ago he scored a career high 35 goals. Flames fans were hoping he could get back to being a 20+ goal scorer with a full bill of health.
Unfortunately for Mangiapane and the Flames, he was not able to exceed the 20 goal plateau. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Let’s take a look at Mangiapane’s 2023-24 campaign.

The numbers

From a production standpoint, Mangiapane tied his career low goal scoring rate as he was only able to score 14 goals in 75 games, a 15-goal pace. He hasn’t scored at that rate since his rookie season in 2018-19.
Mangiapane’s poor goal scoring numbers were not from a lack of trying. He did a great job of generating scoring chances, but it was just one of those seasons where he wasn’t getting any bounces to go his way and where he lacked finishing ability.
Among 11 Flames forwards to play at least 400 minutes at 5-on-5 this season, Mangiapane ranks fourth in xGF/60 and HDCF/60 per Natural Stat Trick. He also had an individual expected goals of 21 in all situations which means based on his scoring chances this season, he should have scored 21 goals. Those numbers tell me that Mangiapane was one of the better Flames at generating scoring opportunities but wasn’t able to bury his chances.
Another thing to keep in mind when looking at Mangiapane’s numbers is that he was asked to play some of the toughest minutes at 5-on-5 on a line with Mikael Backlund and Blake Coleman which makes generating offence a difficult task.
Although the goal scoring numbers weren’t where Mangiapane wanted them to be, he did see an improvement in his play making. Mangiapane put up 26 assists in 75 games, the most assists per game of his NHL career.

The eye test

The numbers match what we saw from Mangiapane this season. He was a player who did a good job generating scoring opportunities, but was snake bitten for some reason.
One thing you want to see more of from Mangiapane next season, if he is still a member of the Flames, is him getting back to being a grinder, rather than a skilled, finesse player. What made Mangiapane such an effective player over the last few seasons was his willingness to battle in front of the net and the corners. Doing the dirty work that not every player wants to do to create offence. It looks like Mangiapane has got away from playing that gritty style.
The work ethic was there for Mangiapane. You can’t deny that he didn’t work his tail off night in, night out for the Flames. But he needs to channel that work ethic into being a grinder, not a skill based winger.

What’s next for Andrew Mangiapane?

Mangiapane is under contract for next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025. You have to wonder what the future holds for Mangiapane and the Flames.
All of Mangiapane, Andrei Kuzmenko and Yegor Sharangovich are UFAs next summer. The Flames have a lot of prospects on the wing in their organization that include Matt Coronato, Jakob Pelletier, Connor Zary, Martin Pospisil, Sam Honzek, Aydar Suniev, and William Stromgren. Something’s got to give. The Flames can’t sign all of Mangiapane, Sharangovich, and Kuzmenko to long term extensions.
If you are going to move on from Mangiapane, now is not the time. He will have little to no value on the trade market because of the position he plays, how much money he makes, and his lack of production from last season.
The best course of action for the Flames should be to rebuild Mangiapane’s value on the trade market. Let him try to get his back back to a level where he will become a desirable trade acquisition for a playoff team. The Flames can eat half his salary and move Mangiapane for a draft pick at the 2025 trade deadline.
Mangiapane has been a great member of the Flames. But based on where the Flames are as a team and with all their prospects on the wing in their system, it doesn’t make sense to bring back Mangiapane on a long term contract extension.

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