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What Anthony Mantha brings to the Calgary Flames

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Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
20 days ago
This article is brought to you by bet365.
Free agency opened up July 1 as usual and throughout the entire league over $1 billion was committed to contracts. The Calgary Flames – and general manager Craig Conroy – played things safe not going too scorched earth on any signings.
One guy they did bring in – with hopes of revitalizing some offence in Huberdeau – is veteran RW Anthony Mantha.
Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, Mantha has had multiple 20 goal seasons but bring much more to the table than just his offence.

Offensive impact

Mantha started his career on quite an upward trajectory – the results and the growth had everyone believing he was going to be the next top line fixture for the Red Wings. Alas, life does not always go the way we plan and Mantha ended up getting sent to the Capitals, and eventually the Vegas Golden Knights at the 2024 NHL trade deadline.
Despite not being featured as a prominent player the last few seasons Mantha kept putting up better numbers than his position and playing time would indicate.
Lets start by looking at his finishing ability (actually scoring the goals, not just getting the chances) over the course of his career.
So for those that look and go “what the heck does this mean” i have got you. The red line is where you would reasonably expect the player to produce based on his quality/number of scoring chances while the black line is what he was actually able to achieve in real life.
The black line being above the red will show grey – grey means that year he was able to finish with more goals than expected. Grey is good, red is bad.
Mantha? He has shown that no matter what situation or line he’s playing on he will get you goals. Period.
So he has got the goals down pat, but as we can see from HockeyViz.com’s synthetic goals model – which includes passing skill, finishing ability, penalty differential, power play + penalty kill impact, and offensive + defensive impact to calculate things down to one number – Mantha has always maximized his opportunities and contributed more than the ice time would usually dictate.
With 3rd line ice time the last couple years he’s bordered on 1st/2nd line level of impact. There’s an extreme mass of talent in there the Flames could unlock they just have to keep him motivated and driven.
On a one-year deal still seeking the next payday Mantha should be plenty motivated to bring his best work.

Defensive impact

Wingers don’t always backcheck deep into the defensive zone – some guys like to make sure they can be a speedy passing outlet to get a jump on the opposing defences, I can respect it. Mantha though, he commits to helping his defence and his goaltenders at an exceptional rate.
Now this one is just his impact from his split 2023-24 in Vegas and Washington but regardless how it played out Mantha helped contribute to a void of shots in the high danger areas.
The best part – it isn’t some random one off season. It’s a trend in his game that started in year two of his nine seasons and has continued on throughout.
Red = lots of shots, Blue = not a lot of shots. The heavier the colour the heavier the volume. Top of rink is offence, bottom is defence. Now that I know everyone can read this you’ll be able to see and agree that the Flames are bringing in quite the quality player.

Final thoughts

There certainly is more than meets the eye to Mantha, but people in hockey circles have discussed that for years. Even with the motivation concerns at worst with Mantha you get a 3rd line scoring winger with size – although he doesn’t play like a bruiser – and at his best you have someone that can get you 25 goals and 50+ points. For a one year deal it’s nothing but a home run for the Calgary Flames.
As for the player? Mantha comes into a situation where there is bountiful opportunity around every corner. Calgary needs guys for both power play units and will need some help on the wing as they shift either Sharangovich, Pospisil, or Zary to the middle of the ice to play C. It once again benefits the Flames here too because he’s a prime candidate to be flipped at the 2025 Trade Deadline. He got Washington a 2nd and 4th round pick at this last deadline – he has the potential to raise his value even higher in Calgary.

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