He’s back where he wants to be.
After appearing in a career-high 59 games with the Flames last season, Garnet Hathaway was hopefully that he would have an extended stay in Calgary.
The 26-year-old got his wish as the Flames re-signed the forward to a one-year deal on July 30.
“I’m really excited to be back in Calgary,” Hathaway said. “I’ve loved every minute of my time here and am happy to get a deal done.
“It’s exciting to get back out there and win games. Ultimately I want to win in Calgary.”
Hathaway started last season with the Flames affiliate Stockton Heat but quickly earned his call up to the NHL after scoring 11 goals and 19 points in 18 games.
He would then go on to finish the season with the Flames setting career highs in goals (4), assists (9) and points (13). Most of all, Hathaway was a spark plug, setting the tone with his style of play whenever his number was called.
“I’m trying to bring that hard working energy style of play to every shift,” he said. “That’s how I know I can contribute. I love playing that way and when it helps the team and it creates a buzz, it makes it even better.
“It’s all about making the most of the opportunities you have.”
Although he’s been no stranger to the NHL being just one game shy of 100 career appearances, Hathaway admitted that this season was bigger learning experience for him compared to years prior.
As he settled in and got accustomed to the change in dynamic from the AHL to the NHL, it was an eye-opening experience overall.
“With the more time being around the league you really learn how much of an everyday league it is,” he said. “There’s a lot of travel and it’s all a routine of playing, travelling, practice and playing again almost immediately. In the AHL, you play on the weekend and you have almost the whole week before playing again.
“You have to be ready everyday not just physically but mentally. I really learned how to take care of my body and to be prepared each night.”
With main camp kicking off on Sept. 13, Hathaway along with the other Flames players will take to the ice for the first time as a team since April to kick of the new season.
With the addition of new recruits, jobs are up for grabs and the level of competition will increase for those pushing to be on the roster for opening night.
“It’s my goal to be there for game one and for all the games,” Hathaway said. “Management has done a great job bringing guys in and I think it’s going to be a very competitive camp and competitive season. I think that’ll help the team improve having guys push each other to get better. That’s what makes a team take the next step.
“With the guys we have it’s a really exciting time. It takes a lot of hard work to be successful but I think we have the right guys in the room to do that.”