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Hathaway looking to help spark Flames

The gritty forward was recalled from Stockton on Saturday

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers /

CALGARY, AB -- Turns out AT&T might not be mobilizing Garnet Hathaway's world.

And, to hear the tone in the voice of the Calgary Flames forward, there might not be a ringing endorsement to follow from the cellular provider.

Not when he couldn't connect on a call with Flames assistant general manager Brad Pascall that made him Calgary's latest recall from Stockton of the American Hockey League.

"I was cooking a pre-game meal … I had no idea. I just missed it," Hathaway said. "I ran outside with my phone and I was trying to call back.

"I don't know what it is with my AT&T. That didn't work. It wouldn't call back.

"I was freaking out. I was getting so nervous. It was Pascall calling me.

"I didn't do anything to get a bad call, I don't think. But your fingers are shaking when you're trying to hit the 'call back' button.

"It's exciting."

For the (phone) record, Hathaway did connect with Pascall, who brought good news that informed the 24-year-old he'd indeed been summoned to jump to Calgary with a rash of injuries hitting Flames forwards. 

On roommate/teammate Austin Carroll's phone, the rumour has it. 

And the message was well received.

"Right when you hear those words it's exciting. No question," Hathaway said. "It doesn't change whether it's the first call up or the second or whatever it is. It means a lot."

Hathaway had his first taste of NHL action/confrontations with the likes of Zdeno Chara, Brent Burns, and any other opposing defencemen taking issue with his hard-nosed brand.

It's not the same this time around.

"It's a different scenario," Hathaway said. "Last year I was thrown right in the mix.

"On the road.

"In Philly.

"Trade deadline.

"Let alone it was a leap year … February 29th.

"You couldn't write it any better."

Last season's experience, if anything, was a whirlwind for the Brown University alumnus.

Being back at Scotiabank Saddledome for a skate Saturday and practice Sunday evokes some of those same emotions.

But …

"Now it's time to go to work," Hathaway said.

"You look at the team right now and they need a spark. They want a spark. Guys are working hard in here. Lots of close games. Lots of bounces going the wrong way.

"Last year you look at it. There was a playoff race coming and try to make it and they trade off a couple guys. You still need that spark. That's how I see the comparison. It's different, just the time of year. That was March. I'd been playing hockey for a few months already.

"This … I've played eight games down there (in Stockton) and four or five pre-season games. It's a little different. But I know what to expect and it's that energy, whether it's practice or a game, I'm just trying to do what I can really."

It's all that's being asked of him.

"With this young guy, just knowing him and watching him from last season, I don't think much will change in his play," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I really think he brings good energy. He brings work ethic. He drags guys into the battle. He does a lot of good things, and I think that won't change for him. That's the way he has played down there, that's the way he'll play up here and that's what makes him not only a good call-up guy but a guy that when you bring him up here, you can put him in and it gives you some life.

"I think for him, he's just going to stay the course of how he plays day in and day out. That's exactly what we'll tell him … we don't want him to change anything."

Gulutzan doesn't need to waste the conversation.

Hathaway's already dialed in.

"You know me," he said. "I'm here to help the team however I can.

"In here, I'm not going to be the most vocal guy … but whether it's practice or in a game, it's just that work ethic, trying to bring those guys into the battle with me.

"It's tough. It's tough losing games. No one wants to do it. And it's tough turning it around in this league. There's no question the guys in this room have what it takes to do it, and I'm here to keep that positive attitude and do everything I can to help."

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