Sports Spectrum Draft Special

Nashville Predators' Mike Fisher un-retires with sights set on Stanley Cup

We spoke with Mike Fisher, 17-year NHL veteran, back in October for a feature in the December issue of Sports Spectrum Magazine. He had recently retired and was in the early stages of learning how to do life without hockey.

“[Last season] was the best year, the most fun I’ve had, no question, in my career,” he told us, remembering the way his team inspired and united its city. “So for me, it was like going out on a high. For sure.”

He looked forward to more downtime and “the excitement of being able to be with my family more and being able to do things with my son and other things that I know God has for me. I knew it was the right decision and through the whole thing someone reminded me of a verse: ‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart (Colossians 3:15).’ And to me, once I knew I had that, then I knew it was the right decision.”

Well, that lasted four months — he’s now officially un-retired. Fisher took part in the Predators’ practice Wednesday morning after signing a tryout contract, which he plans to convert into another contract for the rest of the season.

“It always kind of bugged me when guys came out of retirement. I didn’t really think it was a possibility,” Fisher told the media. “I just thought about the opportunity. How good this team is. About the run last year, and what could be. I got a blessing from family and my wife.”

His wife is superstar Carrie Underwood:

You can’t blame him. The Preds were Western Conference champions last season, with Fisher serving as captain of the overachieving squad, which snuck into the playoffs as the west’s No. 8 seed. But from there the Predators went on a run that invigorated the city and surprised the country.

Upon taking out Chicago in the first round, Nashville became the first NHL team to sweep a top seed, and actually the first squad in North American major professional sports to sweep a No. 1 seed. The Predators then proceeded to take out St. Louis in six and Anaheim in six to reach their first Stanley Cup Finals. That earned a date with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Nashville squandered the first two games in Pittsburgh, but backed by one of the rowdiest crowds in hockey, responded with two wins at home. The buzz in Nashville reached its peak. Unfortunately, the Preds couldn’t sustain the momentum. A crushing 6-0 defeat on the road in Game 5 led to a 2-0 loss back at home — and the end of a remarkable season. They didn’t win the Cup, but they turned in the greatest season Nashville had ever seen.

Now, Nashville sits in third place in the Western Conference, poised for another deep run in the playoffs. Fisher will not return as a captain, but his presence will still be welcomed as his chase for an elusive Stanley Cup resumes.

“We’re getting a terrific person back in our locker room, and a terrific player,” coach Peter Laviolette said.

“I believe this team is built to win, and has a very good chance. So that’s part of the reason I want to come back,” Fisher said. “But we didn’t win last year, and that was the best part of my career.”

We’ll be cheering you on, Fish.

Related links:
Retired and Revelling – Mike Fisher has peace after stepping away from the NHL
Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood talk about their faith
Shane Doan says praying with wife, God’s timing, led him to retire after 21 seasons