Flames' Mangiapane details the dangers of living in Stockton

Sep 12 2023, 3:49 pm

It doesn’t sound as though those in the Calgary Flames system who played in Stockton had the greatest experience.

The Stockton Heat was an AHL team affiliated with the Flames from 2015 to 2022. Several current players on the Flames roster spent time in Stockton, including Dillon Dube, Rasmus Andersson, and Andrew Mangiapane.

Though playing in Stockton helped those three — amongst others — develop their skills and become everyday NHLers, it doesn’t sound as though the experience away from the rink was very enjoyable. In fact, Mangiapane recently joined the Mitts Off podcast with Luke Gazdic and explained what was said to all the players by police officers before the season began.

“Don’t wear blue, don’t wear red,” Mangiapane said. “It’s all Bloods and Crips related.”

That in itself seems worrisome, but what really makes it clear how rough of an area it can be is what police instructed the players to do if anyone approached their car at a red light.

“[The police] said if someone comes up to your car, just run them over,” Mangiapane said. “‘Run them over and we’ll deal with it the next day.’ That’s honestly what he said. He said, ‘If they get to you, or they stop you and get in your car, you might not be here. It’s worth it to run them over and deal with it the next day,’ is what he said. I was blown away when I heard that.”

Mangiapane’s days in the AHL are in the past, but he spent his entire rookie 2016-17 campaign in Stockton, as well as chunks of the following two seasons. During that time, his offensive skill was on display, and he has since been able to translate that to the NHL level.

Thankfully for future Flames prospects, the organization has since moved its AHL affiliate into the same city. The Calgary Wranglers made their debut in 2022-23 and also play their games out of the Saddledome. Though the weather may not be as good, it sounds as though players would be much happier living in Calgary than they were in Stockton.

Colton PankiwColton Pankiw

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