Calgary Flames recall Garnet Hathaway, place Kris Versteeg on IR

WINNIPEG, MB - JANUARY 9: Garnet Hathaway
WINNIPEG, MB - JANUARY 9: Garnet Hathaway /

The Calgary Flames have officially placed Kris Versteeg on IR and have recalled Garnet Hathaway from the Stockton Heat to take his place.

To the bit of dismay of everyone, the Calgary Flames have recalled Garnet Hathaway up from the Stockton Heat, the Flames AHL team. After a few days of Kris Versteeg being day-to-day and yesterday with Glen Gulutzan saying we’ll know for sure within 48 hours what’s going on, he has been placed on IR. The Flames have yet to disclose the specific injury. All we know is that it’s a lower-body injury.

Versteeg has somewhat of a versatile role. He was on the third line, then the fourth line, then back on the third line, occasionally on the first line, and he was on the first powerplay unit. But the last few weeks, for the most part, he’d spend his time on the fourth line while Jaromir Jagr was in the lineup on that third line alongside Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski.

In 41 NHL games, Hathaway has one goal and eight points. He played in just one NHL game this season which was the first game of the season in a 3-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers before being sent down to Stockton. In 18 AHL games this season, he has 19 points.

People on Twitter are somewhat torn, but leaning more to the disappointed side. Fans were hoping that Andrew Mangiapane would get the call-up over a player like Hathaway, who hasn’t exactly proven to be at an NHL calibre level. Mangiapane leads all Stockton skaters with 21 points in 18 games – a vast improvement over his stats from last season when he spent his first season at the pro level.

There could be a few reasons why the Flames decided on Hathaway over someone like Mangiapane:

  1. Hathaway already has NHL experience
  2. They don’t want to stick Mangiapane at the fourth-line to just give him limited minutes
  3. Hathaway’s a RW while Mangiapane’s a LW (although this is probably the least likely reason)
  4. Hathaway is a decent option for a fourth-line guy with his physicality
  5. Mangiapane’s small

Mangiapane stands at just 5’10” and 183 lbs. On your third and fourth lines, you generally want a guy who’s a little bigger with more physicality to put against the opposition’s top lines. And at this point in the season, the Calgary Flames may not want to risk putting Mangiapane in the NHL yet. They’ve already seen Hathaway at the NHL level and know what he’s capable of.

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This isn’t to say that I’m pleased with the decision. The Flames’ biggest downfall is secondary scoring and having barely any scoring depth on their bottom-two lines. Versteeg is their highest scoring bottom-six guy. A guy like Hathaway isn’t going to solve their problems. But we’ll see how things turn out.