A season ago, the Washington Capitals weren’t in a position to make a postseason push. Before finishing sixth in the NHL Metropolitan Division, the Capitals traded Garnet Hathaway and Andrei Svetlakov to the Boston Bruins.
In return, including shipping Dmitry Orlov to the Bruins, the Capitals received Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round selection, a 2024 third-round selection, and a 2025 second-round selection. Five days after trading Hathaway to the Bruins, the Capitals sent the 2023 first-round selection they received to the Toronto Maple Leafs with Erik Gustafsson for Rasmus Sandin. The Maple Leafs selected Easton Cowan with the 28th overall selection in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, but the Capitals did add Ryan Leonard.
On an expiring contract, his run with the Bruins led into the postseason. Boston ranked atop the NHL standings in 2022-2023 but lost to the Florida Panthers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 25 games with the Bruins, Hathaway contributed six points (4G, 2A). Battling the Panthers with a home-ice advantage over seven games, Hathaway notched an additional assist in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs before an overtime elimination.
Hathaway plays a physical brand of hockey, doing his job in molding the identity of a lineup on the fourth line. Between the Bruins and Capitals, he totaled 22 points (13G, 9A) in 84 games last season. His production took a slight dip from 2021-2022 but achieved a new single-season best in hit totals with 268. That landed him on the Bruins’ radar before the postseason. Hathaway ranked eighth in total NHL hits for an individual skater in 2022-2023.
“I’ve tried to find my role throughout my career in this league, and I’ve landed on being difficult to play against, competitive, getting under guy’s skins, and consistent.”Garnet Hathaway; 7/11/2023
John Tortorella will construct a fourth line to set the tone on the ice, protecting the younger skaters, and the addition of Hathaway with Nicolas Deslauriers and Ryan Poehling contains two top NHL forwards who know how to throw their weight around.
“They [the Flyers] want to get back to that position where they’re really difficult to play against and build into a more competitive team. That’s something that I take a lot of pride in, being difficult to play against.”Garnet Hathaway; 7/11/2023
Signing Hathaway helps with the fourth-line identity, which brings competition to a teammate like Wade Allison. Tyson Foerster, Olle Lycksell, and Bobby Brink will likely compete for the winger position on the third line, where Foerster seems to be a clear favorite to spring into the lineup. Hathaway, who agreed to a 2yr/$4.75mil contract, steps into a tailored role on the bottom line.
“I’m one of the older guys, but I would love to say still in my prime, too. 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. I’m excited to take that step into that position.”Garnet Hathaway; 7/11/2023
Throughout his NHL career, Hathaway had the most success against the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring 11 points (5G, 6A) in 26 games.
Like last season, Hathaway could be a depth forward moved at the 2024 or 2025 NHL Trade Deadline. He fits the rebuild timeline for the Flyers, and his contribution to an NHL lineup could help Daniel Briere receive middle to late draft capital for future drafts. In the 2025 NHL Entry Draft, the Flyers only have multiple draft picks in the fifth round.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)