The Calgary Flames refuse to accept defeat in the 2022 offseason.
Most teams probably would have thrown in the towel after losing two 100-point scorers in the span of a week, but not the Flames. Calgary did lose Johnny Gaudreau for nothing, but the team got a handsome return for Matthew Tkachuk to start its quick bounce-back.
With Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar in the mix, the Flames went from a team that could be counted out in the Pacific Division to a club that looks rejuvenated and dangerous. Now, this team looks even more prepared to take another run at the division crown in 2023.
Restricted free agent Andrew Mangiapane was Calgary’s fourth-leading scorer last season, and after a few weeks of uncertainty, he has agreed to a three-year deal to stay with the team that drafted him. The contract is worth $5.8 million per season.
The Flames got a big win by getting Mangiapane back.
Mangiapane’s 55 points during the 2021-2022 season were a career-high for him, and his 35 goals nearly doubled his previous single-season high. The 26-year-old was a plus-20, contributed 11 points on the power play, and scored eight game-winning goals last year.
In addition, he was a factor defensively for the Flames as part of the NHL’s sixth-best penalty killing unit and the Western Conference’s top defense. He finished the season tied for the team lead in shorthanded goals with two.
The Flames were sixth in the NHL last season in scoring, but with their top two scorers on their way to the Eastern Conference, Calgary desperately needed Mangiapane back.
Yes, the return from Florida was huge, but losing three of the team’s top four scorers would have been detrimental.
As it stands, in a division that will be winnable, the Flames can be expected to be stout again defensively, and now, the offense can be trusted, even if it won’t be quite as dynamic.
This offseason has by no means been ideal for the Flames, but re-signing Mangiapane is the team’s latest effort to escape irrelevance, and it should do the trick by keeping Calgary competitive in 2023.