By Torie Peterson – CalgaryFlames.com
There are many words that can be used to describe Garnet Hathaway.
Industrious. Scrappy. Versatile. Hardworking.
Graceful, though, wouldn’t be in that mix of adjectives.
During his time with the Calgary Flames in 2015-16, the Kennebunkport, ME, native instantly won over fans with his crash-and-bang, in-your-face style of hockey that drives opponents around the bend.
In his first three NHL games, he picked up his first two points – a pair of assists in Buffalo, NY – and managed to get under the skin of hulking Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara — an altercation that nearly ended in a bout between the two.
In his debut at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Mar. 7, he earned rave reviews from the locals after refusing to back down from an irate Brent Burns. After the San Jose Sharks defenseman high-sticked him, he pushed back and ended up dropping the gloves with Burns.
The C of Red gave the forward a rousing ovation as he skated off the ice afterwards.
“If I’m playing my game, I’m not just sticking my toe in there,” he explained post-game. “I have to get in there. There are a lot of great players and a lot of big players in this league. That’s going to happen. If I’m playing my game, that’s going to happen.”
While Hathaway throws himself into the play, with no regard for his own physical well-being, he isn’t a one-trick pony. Yes, he plays a pugnacious game but has showcased his ability to chip in offensively over the course of his career.
After averaging over a point-per-game for two seasons at Phillips Andover in the United States High School league, he spent four years with the Bears at Brown University. In 121 NCAA games, Hathaway compiled 20 goals, 58 points and 178 PIM.
After his Ivy League collegiate career wrapped up in the spring of 2014, he turned his attention to transitioning to the pro game and signed an American Hockey League deal with the Flames’ AHL affiliate.
In his first pro season, Hathaway managed 19 goals and 36 points in 72 games with the Adirondack Flames and earned himself a chance to play in the NHL, inking an entry-level contract on Apr. 13, 2015.
In addition to the 13 NHL games he played last season, Hathaway averaged 0.48 points-per-game with eight goals and 21 points in 44 skates with the Stockton Heat.
Now, with those experiences under his belt, Hathaway has built a solid foundation heading into the 2016-17 season.
With only a handful of spots available in Calgary, he knows he needs to bring that hard-nosed, assiduous style on nightly basis to be in contention for a regular berth in the Flames lineup.
Given his history, you can bet on Hathaway pushing hard to make the next step in his career.
“I’ve always been like that,” he said earlier this year. “If you ask my parents, I’ve always been tough to handle. I’m always running around and trying to get into those areas. As long as I can remember, I haven’t really stopped. I’ve just thrown my body around and trying to get into the mix of things.”