After 17 years in the NHL, Mike Fisher has announced his retirement.
The Nashville Predators centre made the announcement on Thursday in a letter to THE TENNESSEAN.
“I kept praying for peace about the next step in my life,” he wrote. “A peace that said this is God’s will for your future. A peace that said whether or not this was the right time to walk away.”
And in the end, his prayers were answered and Fisher did receive that peace about walking away from the game.
The 37-year-old was debating his future after the expiration of his contract at the conclusion of 2016-2017. He was an unrestricted free agent, coming off a season in which he helped the Predators reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
The Peterborough-born forward was drafted into the league by the Ottawa Senators in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He went 44th overall and made his NHL debut in the 1999-2000 season, scoring nine points in 32 games. He quickly honed his style in Ottawa, becoming known for an aggressive forecheck that generated some offensive opportunities for his squad.
Fisher was tasked with providing secondary scoring on a Senators team that included the likes of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley up front. He was nominated for the Selke Trophy after a terrific season in 2005-2006.
Fisher remained with the Senators until February of 2011, when he was traded to the Predators in exchange for two draft picks.
Fisher enjoyed success in Nashville as well, becoming the sixth captain in franchise history in September of 2016.
“I’m going to miss working with Mike,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “He did an excellent job of leading our club both on and off the ice in such an important year of transition. His character, passion and honesty were on display every day. He embodies the definition of what a leader and captain should be.”
Fisher may have come up short with the Predators, but he’s looking forward to seeing the team win it all from the sidelines.
“I believe that this team, that this city, is going to win a championship, and I’m going to be the biggest fan,” he wrote. “No one will be happier than I will be to see it happen, because, these fans, they deserve it.”
In 1,088 games with the Senators and Predators, Fisher put together 276 goals and 309 assists for a total of 585 points. And in 134 playoff games with Ottawa and Nashville, with 23 goals and 28 assists.