Home Artwork With his artwork appearing on a special shirt, Flames forward Mangiapane draws...

With his artwork appearing on a special shirt, Flames forward Mangiapane draws attention to manual labor on the ice

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A post-puck career in art or fashion?

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Calgary Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane has already ruled out that possibility.

“Yeah…” Mangiapane said with a smile, “I don’t think that’s in my future.”

Well, here’s hoping her first – and apparently last – t-shirt design is a hot seller.

Fresh off a career-best campaign and then World Championship MVP honors, Mangiapane, 25, represented the Flames last month on the NHL media tour in Toronto – a journey packed with many. interviews and photo ops with rights holders and other major outlets.

There he was given a marker and asked to draw the Flaming C logo.

Mangiapane’s doodle – a respectable effort but not exactly ready to hang in the Louvre – was soon all the rage on social media.

With the fanbase buzzing, someone at the Saddledome had the brilliant idea of ​​turning this Art-By-Eat bread into a fashion statement that would support a good cause. They rushed to get shirts printed and all proceeds from the sale of these special edition tops – now available for pre-order from the team store at flamesport.com – will go to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, a cause which is particularly important for Mangiapane. When he chose this charity, he was thinking of his family and friends who have been affected by various types of brain health issues.

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“It’s for a good cause, obviously,” Mangiapane said ahead of Friday’s preseason game with the Vancouver Canucks. “Good on the organization of the Flames and FanAttic for organizing this. It wasn’t the best drawing, but hopefully I’ll work on those skills after.

While he might not be Michelangelo with a marker, there is a lot to like about Mangiapane’s ice work.

The quick winger scored 18 goals last winter in the cropped season, finishing only behind Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm for the team lead. He is tied for fourth with the Flames with 32 points in 56 outings.

What’s most impressive – and heartening as you try to project future pop – is that No.88 was Calgary’s most successful sniper evenly matched, with just three of his lamp lights in shots. human advantage scenarios.

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Mangiapane proved even more productive at the world championships, racking up seven points and a dozen points in seven rounds in his first international appearance. Team Canada were undefeated after completing their 40s, and the Flames’ spark plug was celebrated as the tournament MVP following the golden game in Latvia.

“To play in this league, or wherever you play, you have to play with confidence,” Mangiapane said. “Confidence with the puck, confidence without the puck, I think it goes a long way. You don’t want to dip your toe in water everywhere you go to play. Your first game, your last game, whatever it is… You want to play with confidence, hold on to the puck, make plays. It’s kind of what I did there.

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Easier said than done, of course.

“It took me a little while to almost get into this league,” agreed the sixth-round steal, a 178-game NHL veteran over the past four seasons and still trending upward. “It’s not that I didn’t believe in myself or something, maybe it was just giving up an A-grade opportunity to get it. It’s just the little things you learn and with which you feel comfortable. If you have a two on one and the pass isn’t there, maybe you shoot, right? And maybe early in my career , you might try to force a pass even though the pass isn’t really there.

“You just have to play your game.”

These lessons could be particularly useful this coming season.

Mangiapane auditioned during camp on a line with Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, arguably the two most dangerous offensive threats on the list. With a little talent off the wing, a guy could make big numbers with this duo. (It also depends on whether Monahan looks more like her old self after hip surgery.)

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“Obviously these two are great players, so if you find them in the slot machine or in a rush or something like that, they’re probably going to make the most of the opportunity,” said left-hander Mangiapane, who worked the right side with Johnny and Mony. “But you can’t force that on them either, because the defense will then read that and pick that pass.” Sometimes the Ds give you the opportunity to make a breakaway or something like that. So it’s just a matter of knowing when to pass, when to shoot, when to play or not to play, and I think I learned that early in my career.

After Friday morning practice, a reporter asked Mangiapane – already adored in Calgary thanks to his relentless work ethic and ghastly demeanor – if he had become a better-known name among hockey fans.

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Perhaps, he replied, recalling that the Flames made several visits to Canada’s largest markets last winter.

“But I’m still the same person, I’m still going to go out there and give it my all every shift,” he promised. “It’s my game, it’s to be a hard worker, and I don’t intend to change that. “

Even now as a recognized artist, a potential force in the fashion world.

“The guys are laughing at me, but I think they’re just jealous,” Mangiapane smirked as he played the game.

Sitting next to him in the media room, sturdy rearguard Erik Gudbranson interjected: “Everyone wants a T-shirt.

Mangiapane nodded.

“Yes, everyone wants a T-shirt,” he said. “Maybe one day we will distribute them, but for now they are precious. “

[email protected]

Twitter: @WesGilbertson

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