Mike Fisher is returning to the NHL.
The 37-year-old was on the ice Wednesday at the Bridgestone Arena and will return to play for the Nashville Predators ahead of what should be a thrilling playoff run. He spent the past seven seasons with Nashville and was team captain last season before announcing his retirement in August of 2017.
“I’m all in,” Fisher said. “I believe this team is built to win. We have a very good chance. So that is part of the reason why I want to come back and compete and be a part of it. We didn’t win last year and it was the best time of my career. I believe this year can be our year. That’s what I want to be a part of and have some fun.”
According to reports, Fisher made his decision to return over the weekend. There is no timetable for his return to the lineup, but the plan is to get him signed ahead of the trade deadline.
“All this is really for getting ready for the playoffs,” general manager David Poile said.
The Predators are positioned well for a playoff run and the Fisher return provides a morale boost that should have a ripple effect through Music City and the locker room. Nashville is second in the Central Division, with a 29-12-7 record. That puts them three points behind the Winnipeg Jets, who have played three more games.
In 1,088 games through seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators and Predators, Fisher has 585 points. He was drafted by the Senators in the second round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in the Stanley Cup Final with Ottawa in 2007, but the Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games. 10 years later, he was back in the dance with the Predators.
And now, he wants another kick at the can.
“It’s something that was special last year and something you’ll never forget,” Fisher said. “We want to do that again and then some this year, for sure.”
The Predators have hoped to have Fisher back in the fold last summer, truth be told. Coach Peter Laviolette said the door was always open and the conversations began in earnest around December.
The belief is that Fisher’s role will be to fill in on the third and fourth lines, but anything can happen. The Predators are relatively deep down the middle, with Nick Bonino, Kyle Turris and Ryan Johansen covering the top units.
Regardless, it’s good to see Fisher back where he belongs. Nashville’s chance to run the table in the post-season just got better.