After months of negotiations, young Calgary Flames depth forward Andrew Mangiapane has finally signed a new contract – his qualifying offer. The Flames announced that Mangiapane has agreed to return on the minimum one-year, two-way contract worth $715K that they had initially extended to him in June. It’s a win for GM Brad Treliving and company, who get a capable, developing winger back under contract at a bargain price as they continue to maneuver through a tight salary cap squeeze.
This is a classic case – although not as common with restricted free agents nowadays – of a team holding tight to their leverage with a young player. Mangiapane, 23, did not have any arbitration rights this summer, nor had he earned the right to demand a higher salary because the team could not survive without him. In fact, it is no surprise that Mangiapane finally caved with training camp just getting underway. The player and his camp had to know that the more training camp he missed, the less likely his chances were of earning a spot on the team. Although Mangiapane took a big career step last year with a career-high 44 NHL games played and 13 points, he didn’t yet have the job security to risk missing too much of training camp and preseason action. Calgary knew that they could assist with a difficult salary cap situation by forcing Mangiapane to accept their minimum offer. This is now very much a “show me” season for the Barrie Colts product, who will look to earn a more regular role and improve his offensive totals ahead of another round of restricted free agency next summer, this time with arbitration rights.
With Mangiapane now signed, and projected to be on the opening night roster, CapFriendly lists the Flames as having just over $75MM committed to 22 players. That leaves approximately $6.3MM to sign that final 23rd player, unsigned RFA forward Matthew Tkachuk. However, coming off a 77-point season at just 21 years old, the team may find it impossible to re-sign their young star with just that amount to work with. Treliving still has plenty of work to do before the season starts to re-shape the roster in a way that allows the team to re-sign Tkachuk.