For the first time since 2010, someone other than Shea Weber will be wearing the “C” for the Nashville Predators. Starting with the 2016-17 season, that man will be veteran forward Mike Fisher.
The Predators announced Thursday that Fisher, a veteran of 16 NHL seasons, will be Weber’s replacement as the team’s central leader. The 36-year-old has been with the Predators for the last six seasons. How long he’ll be the captain remains unclear as Fisher’s contract will expire after this season.
That said, GM David Poile told the assembled media Thursday that he doesn’t view it as a one-year captaincy and that Fisher can stay with the club as long as he wants.
He’ll be taking over this important role with the team in a bit of a transitional period. After Weber was traded for P.K. Subban, the club lost the face of their franchise and one of their central figures for the last decade. That’s an adjustment that could take time to get used to, but the talent on this roster – especially after the addition of Subban — suggests that the Predators could have a really special season.
“It is the right time for Mike to be the captain in our history,” Poile said in a statement. “In my mind, he could’ve easily been the captain many times in his career, but this is his time; it’s the perfect fit… In terms of the type of player that Mike is, he’s played over 1,000 games in the National Hockey League, he comes to play every game, he’s respected by his teammates, his coaches, his opponents, referees, and Mike is a guy the players go to when they need something. Whether it be some advice of what to do on the ice, and equally, if not more important, some advice off the ice. This is a perfect fit for our franchise today.”
Fisher has been a core player for the Preds since coming over in a midseason trade in 2010-11. Injuries have helped contribute to a downturn in his production, but the strong two-way center is coming off of a pretty impressive postseason.
Fisher had seven points including five goals during the Predators’ 14-game playoff run last year. He also scored the game-winning goal in one of the most significant wins in Predators history in that three-overtime epic against the San Jose Sharks in the second round last year.
“I believe they’ve given it to me for a reason, and I want to continue to do what I’ve always done,” Fisher told the Predators’ website. “I want to help this team win a Cup, and I want to try and do all I can do, and do more than what I’ve done in the past… I definitely want to be that guy that can help this team and help guys be better.”
In addition to his role on the ice, he has become extremely active in the community along with his wife, country music star Carrie Underwood. It appears Ms. Underwood, who often attends games when she is not on tour, is awfully excited about her husband’s new role on the team.
Fisher is a veteran of 1,016 NHL games including 341 with the Predators. He becomes the team’s seventh captain.
Source: CBS Sports / Mike Fisher replaces Shea Weber as Predators captain