By Amanda DiPaolo
It is no secret that the Nashville Predators have been hurting at the position of center this season. Thursday morning, the Predators announced that they had traded picks for Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators.
Bad luck had hit Nashville pretty hard this season at center. The off season move of signing unrestricted free agent Matthew Lombardi has yet to pan out. Lombardi suffered a concussion and has not played a game since their second of the season against the Chicago Blackhawks. Cal O’Reilly is out with a broken leg. David Legwand missed time this season and last night in Detroit Marcel Goc left the game with an upper body injury. Goc also missed time earlier in the season with a separated shoulder.
For Fisher, Ottawa gets Nashville’s first round pick at this year’s draft and a conditional pick in 2012. What round the conditional pick is depends on Nashville’s performance in the post-season.
“We were seeking a top-six forward and Mike Fisher was the player we set our sights on,” Poile said in a press release from the team. “He plays playoff-style hockey all season long. He plays on the power play, kills penalties, is strong on draws and can match up against any opposing line.”
In 55 games, the (much needed) center has 14 points and 10 assists, but is also a -19. The plus/minus figure for this season is an anomoly, however. Fisher is known as a two-way forward and should fit in well in Nashville’s system. The 30-year old was even a Selke finalist in 2005-06.
A year ago, Fisher scored 25 goals. Since the 2005-06 season Fisher, with the exception of 2008-09, has consistently been a 20-goal scorer. In 2008-09, however, that number dropped to only 13 goals on the season.
Fisher has two years left on his contract. Next year, Fisher is set to make $4 million. In 2012-13, Fisher is on tap for $3 million. According to capgeek.com, Fisher will make $1,354,839 in Nashville this year.
The former Ottawa Senator is not the sniper that Predators fans have been hoping for, but the move gives Nashville some added depth at a position that has been the weak point for Nashville this season. Additionally, Fisher comes into Nashville tied for seventh in points, but is third in scoring goals. For a team that sometimes struggles finding the back of the net, Fisher’s addition can only help.
Currently, Nashville was going with David Legwand, Marcel Goc, Jerred Smithson and Nick Spaling as their four centers. Colin Wilson is also listed as a center, but plays on the wing.
Fisher wore number 12 in Ottawa and will do so in Nashville. The Predators have a promotion tickets in recognition of the newest Predator. You can buy one upper-level seat for $12 or a pair of lower-level seats for $112 for Saturday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. These tickets are on sale now through 5 p.m. tomorrow at the box office or by calling 615-770-PUCK (7825).
Follow Predlines on Twitter @predlines