Garnet Hathaway UFA closeup

Garnet Hathaway signed a two-year, $4.75 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 1. It has an average annual value of $2.375 million.

"When I look at it, it's an organization that really wants to improve, has that mindset right now that … I don't want to put a label like a rebuild, but it's one that wants to continue to get better and a lot more competitive than they were last year," Hathaway said Tuesday. "So that's exciting when the group is willing to put in the work to do that. Being a big part of it as well, I'll be one of the more veteran players in the team with games played. Being able to take what I've learned throughout my career and try and put it into a scenario or a position where guys can take things from it and I'll learn from them and we'll continue to grow really together."

The 31-year-old said he's looking forward to being in a mentor role for a Flyers team that is expected to have several key young or less experienced forwards, among them Noah Cates (24), Morgan Frost (24), Owen Tippett (24) and Tyson Foerster (21).

"I've been really fortunate to play with a lot of successful guys in this League, guys who have won Stanley Cups and awesome leaders," he said. "It's one of those things, I've tried to pick up lots of things from the players that I've been able to play with and find out what it takes to be successful, what it takes to get a group to pull together to get where they want to be. And so that's something I'm excited to take that step into that position. I probably haven't had as prominent a talking role in a room, I've been one of the listeners. But that's something that I think that this opportunity will really be in front of me."

The 31-year-old forward had 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in 84 regular-season games for the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals last season, including six points (four goals, two assists) in 25 games after he was acquired in a trade with the Capitals on Feb. 23.

He had one assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"He helps with our young guys, another physical presence, a guy that can skate, that can kill penalties," Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said. " There's a lot of assets. His presence, especially as a veteran and the way he's liked on all the teams that he's played on, how tough he is to play against as well. It just helps I think with the development of our young guys up front as well."

Signed by the Calgary Flames as a free agent April 13, 2015, Hathaway has 122 points (58 goals, 64 assists) in 457 regular-season games for the Bruins, Capitals and Flames and six points (three goals, three assists) in 31 playoff games. deputy managing editor Adam Kimelman contributed to this report