Via Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson
Undrafted, unheralded and yet undeterred, this is a look-how-far-you’ve-come landmark for Calgary Flames crash-and-bang sort Garnet Hathaway.
For the first time in his career, the right-winger scribbled his name on a one-way contract.
“Other than a one-way AHL deal, which is how I started,” Hathaway clarified. “You would see other guys with those contracts, and it’s definitely been a goal throughout my career. So it’s a milestone, in that sense.
“But I don’t think much can be held upon the meaning of a one-way. It’s part of the business, but if the hockey doesn’t hold up, then the contract … It doesn’t matter how many ways it is.”
In other words, Hathaway won’t be satisfied to be the highest-paid guy on the farm. Whether he is stationed in Calgary or with the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat, he is due to collect US$850,000 during the upcoming campaign.
The 26-year-old Hathaway re-upped Monday as a restricted free-agent, avoiding an arbitration hearing but barely earning a mention on a day dominated — and rightfully so — by coverage of Jarome Iginla’s retirement bash.
Hathaway is never going to challenge Iginla’s franchise scoring records, but the hard-nosed and hard-working forward from Kennebunkport, Me., is hoping he has skated his final shifts in the minors.
He logged a career-high 59 outings for the Flames last winter, contributing four tallies and nine assists. He also scrapped six times.
“It’s always been my goal to spend more and more time in the NHL every year,” said Hathaway, who initially accepted that AHL-only deal after completing his collegiate career with the Brown University Bears and has now totalled 99 appearances on the big stage and 173 more on behalf of Calgary’s top affiliate. “I think you gain what it takes to be that everyday player and how to be ready to play every day. And you pick up a lot from the guys that you play with, too.”
Hathaway’s path to full-time duties seems pretty clear — it’s directly through his opponents.