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EARNING A SPOT

The winger's stellar play in Stockton earned him a ticket up north this week

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

Count Mark Jankowski among those happy to see Garnet Hathaway get called up to the big club.

Even if it did mean he couldn't get to his locker to change after practice Wednesday.

With the Flames dealing with injuries to forwards Kris Versteeg and Jaromir Jagr, Hathaway's strong play with the AHL's Stockton Heat this season earned him a plane ticket north.

"I think he deserves it," said Jankowski. "He earned this call-up with his play. I played with him a lot in the last couple of years so I know him pretty well. He's a hard-nosed player, he's hard on the forecheck, he takes the body and he can make plays when he has the puck, so he's going to be a real help for our team."

Before Jankowski himself was called up from the Heat on Oct. 23, he, Hathaway and Andrew Mangiapane formed one of the top lines in the AHL.

While it will be up to the coaches where Hathaway slots in and whether the two players will be reunited on the ice, they ended up with side-by-side dressing room stalls which led to Jankowski having to wait patiently - with a laugh and a smile, of course - for the throng of media to finish up with Hathaway Wednesday before he could take a seat.

"Anywhere he'll play he's going to be a factor," said Jankowski. "That's the good thing about him - he can be a factor on any line, he can play with anyone."

Hathaway suited up for 26 games for the Flames last season, collecting a goal and four helpers.

He played in the season-opener against the Oilers back on Oct. 4 before being sent down to Stockton.

In 18 games with the Heat, he has 11 goals and eight assists, tying him for second in AHL goal-scoring and sitting him 12th in points.

Video: The winger talks to Flames TV about being recalled

"He's had great success … I think he's top-10 in scoring in the American Hockey League and this is from a guy who plays every shift like it's his last," said Flames coach Glen Gulutzan. "That's a real good sign and it's a good bolt of energy for us. We'll see where we are with our injuires but I'm pretty sure he's going to figure into our lineup."

Hathaway knows, as with all call-ups, he has been given another great chance to impress Gulutzan and the team brass with his play.

 "I'm definitely motivated," said Hathaway, who will sport the number 21 instead of his old 64. "I'm not going to try to change my game at all. I'm just going to go out there and work hard and hopefully get some bounces."

"You never want to have fear as a motivator but it's one of those things that just getting a taste of the last few years, I want to be here more than anything," he added. "And now I have to prove it."

ONE TIMERS

Gulutzan said Jagr, who practiced Wednesday but missed Tuesday's loss to the Maple Leafs with a lower-body injury, was supposed to let his coach know later in the day if he would be good to play Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes … Sam Bennett took a puck to the head late in the loss to Toronto that ended up requiring six-to-eight stiches on his forehead, reported Gulutzan. Bennett did not practice Wednesday but will play Thursday, he said … As for Versteeg's injury, the coach said the team was getting a second opinion and hoped to know more soon.  

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