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Injured pair making most of development camp experience

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

I was excited for this year to come in and be calmer and have that extra year of experience under my belt. It sucks getting the injury.Andrew Mangiapane

CALGARY, AB -- Andrew Mangiapane could only look over his shoulder at fellow Calgary Flames prospects being put through the paces on the ice and shrug.

He’s not used to watching.

He’s not overly happy about it, either.

“It definitely sucks,” said Mangiapane.

“Go from working out, going on the ice every day and then getting an injury … it’s really my first, I guess, injury I’ve ever had playing hockey. Me being sidelined I guess really sucks.

“Watching everyone going on the ice and you not being able to sucks.”

It’s not necessarily how the 20-year-old forward expected to experience his second development camp with Calgary.

But it’s necessary.

Mangiapane initially sustained a lower body injury in February while playing for Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League. He powered through the final month of the regular season, and 15 postseason skates before returning to his regular off-ice routine.

But not without some pain.

“Lower body,” Mangiapane said, flashing a slight smile.

“I thought it was just minor and it’d go away. I kept playing with it, which probably made it worse. I went through the playoffs with it getting it taped up and all that. I figured I would take two, three weeks off and got back to training and aggravated it again. I knew something was wrong and told Calgary and now we’re working on fixing it.”

It’s not quite the same experience he had a year ago.

Mangiapane had only been a member of the Flames for a number of days before departing to Calgary to participate in development camp last July.

But it hasn’t seemed that long.

“Last year I was just so in shock,” said Mangiapane, who followed up a 43-goal, 104-point effort in 2014-15 with 51 goals and 106 points this season. “I was more nervous than anything. You’re so excited to get going. I just had so many jitters coming into it.

"I was excited for this year to come in and be calmer and have that extra year of experience under my belt.

“It sucks getting the injury.”

Mangiapane isn't alone, though.

He has some company on the sidelines.

Daniel Pribyl, recovering from ACL surgery in May, has been relegated to spectator duties.

But Pribyl, who joins the Flames after five seasons with Sparta Praha in the Czech league, is using the time to get better acquainted to Calgary.

It’s more an orientation camp than a development camp for the 23-year-old.

“It’s good for that, for sure, that I can speak to the other players and see what’s going on here,” he said. “I like it. There’s a lot of meetings about other stuff. I think it’s good for me, for sure.”

Being in Calgary’s allowed for a follow-up on the surgery, too.

Reports for Pribyl came back positive.

And it has him optimistic he’ll be ready for camp.

“We’ll see what’s going to happen,” he said.

“It’s going to be close. I’m not sure about it right now. It’s going to be close.”

The prognosis is positive for Mangiapane, too.

Like Pribyl, he hopes to be a part of September’s camp.

“The trainers here and staff are really helping me,” he said. “It’s for precautionary reasons why I’m not skating this week. I don’t want to get it worse. They’ve been helping me getting recovered and hopefully I should be good for main camp.”

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