The commute for Matt Mangene's hockey-loving family in Miller Place became quite a bit shorter when the Islanders acquired the St. Anthony's High School graduate Tuesday from the Flyers in the Andrew MacDonald trade.
Mangene was assigned to the Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. He had spent the last two seasons playing for Philadelphia's AHL team in Glens Falls.
"We live 10 minutes from the Bridgeport ferry," in Port Jefferson, Mangene, a 5-11 two-way player, said by phone. "I think it was like a four-hour drive to Glens Falls." Bridgeport is only a couple of hours away from Boston College, where Mangene's sister, Meagan, plays for the women's ice hockey team.
Mangene, who grew up in Manorville and played three collegiate seasons at Maine, is a lifelong Islanders fan. "My dad's from Boston, so he grew up a Bruins fan but ever since I was 2, 3 years old, I went to Islanders games. I grew up watching [Pierre] Turgeon, all those guys."
Mangene signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers in April 2012, and was assigned to the Adirondack Phantoms in Glens Falls following the conclusion of his junior year at Maine. In 92 career games with the Phantoms, Mangene had 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points.
Mangene, who will turn 25 next Wednesday, received a call from Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "He told me I'll be playing a fair share of minutes for [Bridgeport]. He said just go from there, it's all in my hands. It's up to me to play well, produce, be the type of player they expect out of me."
Mangene does not know if the family's commute will one day take them to Nassau Coliseum -- or Brooklyn when the team relocates -- but he will continue to persevere. "My plan is to do it as long as I can," he said. "I've played this game since I was 2 years old and I love it more and more every day and I'm just grateful that I have the opportunity to call this my job right now. I just want to do it until someone tells me I can't do it anymore."