It’s not quite comparable to the emotional rollercoaster Brett Favre put Packers’ fans through in 2008 but it comes close. Mike Fisher was a staple in Nashville before his somewhat unexpected retirement at the end of the 2016-17 season.
Fisher played 17 seasons in the NHL and captained the Nashville Predators for the last season. He amassed 276 goals and 309 assists in 1,088 regular season games.
FISHER’S IMPACT ON THE NASHVILLE COMMUNITY
In addition to his impressive career he was also well loved by the Nashville (or Smashville) community. In 2012 Fisher won the NHL Foundation Award which celebrates the player who best enriches the lives of those around them and in the community.
The NHL said this with the announcement of his nomination,
“Since coming to Nashville in February 2011, Fisher has developed strong relationships with a number
of non-profit organizations: Room In the Inn, a full-service homeless facility located a few blocks from Bridgestone Arena; Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; and Cottage Cove Urban Ministries, a Nashville based non-profit organization that serves inner-city youth.
Fisher donated $40,000 to Cottage Cove to purchase a van for the youth center and renovate their music room. He’s also purchased tickets for the Fisher’s Friends ticket program for youth organizations. In September 2011, Fisher released the book, “Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story,” geared toward children ages 9-11 that highlights his faith journey, with all sales benefitting World Vision, and autographed copies sold at Bridgestone Arena raising money for Room In the Inn.
Fisher and his wife also are seen at various charity fundraisers in the Middle Tennessee area, including events for The Peterson Foundation for Parkinson’s and Rocketown, and he is an annual participant in the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation program.”
This is how the Smashville community reacted to his retirement.
Mike Fisher retired!?! Wow! Nashville will be so different without him.
— Esther (@EBHockeyFan25) August 4, 2017
wow. Congratulations on an amazing career, Mike Fisher. Wish you could have retired with that Stanley Cup.
— Y – Tyler Ferraro (@FerraroTyler19) August 3, 2017
Fisher’s reach went beyond just Nashville.
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) August 3, 2017
Definitely take a chance to read that story in the last tweet. It just goes to show how important Fisher was to hockey fans in general.
WHY HE LEFT
It seems as though beyond Fisher’s desire to open more time with his family there were no additional reasons in his decision to retire.
In a heartfelt letter to the people of Nashville he opened with,
I can still picture it vividly.
That afternoon on TV, I’d seen a drone shot of Broadway and the area surrounding Bridgestone Arena that showed all the people gathered for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. I gasped. How was there that many people there? And all to support us? It was almost incomprehensible.”
-Mike Fisher, Captain of the Nashville Predators
In the letter Fisher states his reasoning for leaving as just being the right time. He also attributed his decision to God’s timing. He shared his support for the city and the team and said “I believe that this team, that this city, is going to win a championship, and I’m going to be the biggest fan. No one will be happier than I will be to see it happen, because, these fans, they deserve it.”
During his brief retirement Fisher loved the times he got to spend with his son Isaiah and loves that he has gotten to see him grow up from home.
ANNNDDDD HE’S BACK
In a surprising turn of events Mike Fisher has announced that he is returning to the NHL on Jan. 31. The decision was, there’s no other way to say it, random. I don’t think anyone saw it coming.
The implications around his return are only just starting to clear up but there are some theories floating around as to why he is returning and as to what prompted his return.
However, after speaking with former teammate, Roman Josi and consulting with his wife Fisher decided to go back to the sport he loves. He says that after discussing with his family and praying about it that he decided it would be best for him to return.
“I asked my son and he’s like, ‘no, no,’ and I don’t even know if he knew what he was saying no to,” said Fisher in an interview with NHL.com
Beyond Fisher’s feeling that it was the “right time” and him getting the blessing from his family and the Predators, there is really no other given reasons for his return.
The Predators’ leadership core says that they would do anything to get Fisher’s leadership and passion back on the team so they have jumped at the opportunity to have him back.
“Everything I’ve ever known about Mike, from the time that he’s been here, is he sets a challenge he thinks he can do, he will get it done. He’s got some work to do on and off the ice. We have no timetable for his return, we’re going to be patient, we’re going to see where he’s ready to go and we’re just going to manage this between Lavi and me and Mike and all this is really for getting ready for the playoffs… this is a huge day. This is really neat.” Said Predators’ GM David Poile.
There is no definite timeline for Fisher’s return. Both he and the Predators hope to make a Stanley Cup run.
His return not only comes as joy to the Nashville Predators but also to the hockey community as a whole.
Featured image from ESPN.com
“From Our Haus to Yours”