By Amanda DiPaolo
Bridgestone Arena will be packed for Saturday night’s game between the Nashville Predators and the Colorado Avalanche as Smashville gets set to welcome its newest member, Mike Fisher.
Fisher was traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday. The 30 year old center is a consistent 20-goal scorer and will help Nashville in the areas of the game that needed improving, offense and depth at the center position.
Going back to Ottawa is Nashville’s 2011 first round draft pick. The Predators also owe Ottawa a conditional draft pick in 2012. If the Predators win one playoff round this year, Ottawa gets a third round pick at next year’s draft. If the Predators win two or more rounds in the post season, that conditional pick moves up to the second round.
The Peterborough, Ontario native said Wednesday was a “crazy day,” that it was hard to process everything so quickly and saying goodbye to teammates was tough.
Before this season, Fisher spent his entire 10-year career in Ottawa, loved it in Canada’s capital city and never asked to be traded. But Fisher said if he was going to be traded, Nashville was the “perfect fit.”
Fisher says the Predator way is also the Fisher way. “Nashville plays a system that is going to be perfect for my game. It’s intensity, hard working, good solid team game. It’s all about team. That’s what I love about it. I think I’m going to fit that mold very well” Fisher said, as he added, “It’s a more agressive style of play than we played here in Ottawa and that’s why they are being successful so far. I think I can add to that.”
While the transition of playing with new linemates and playing in a new system might take a game or two, Fisher knows he can make a difference here in Music City.
“It’s definitely going to be a weird transition for me,” Fisher said, “but I just have to relax and do what I can do on the ice and try to fit in the best I can. This is a team that is playing some great hockey this year. I’m here for a reason.”
And that reason is to win. Head Coach Barry Trotz said on Hockey Night in Canada Radio that the Predators have moved away from the expansion phase, as well as that phase of uncertainty about the future of the franchise. Trotz says hockey in Nashville is here to stay and now the team wants to win, and is committed to bringing a Stanley Cup to Nashville.
Bringing in Fisher shows just how committed Nashville’s ownership is to putting a successful product on the ice. Fisher is not a rental player. After this season, the Predators will have the rugged forward under contract for two more seasons, and he doesn’t come cheap. Fisher is set to make $4 million for the 2011-12 season and $3 million in 2012-13.
“I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to put the jersey on,” Fisher said during a conference call with members of the press on Friday morning. As of late Friday afternoon, Fisher was still in Ottawa awaiting work documentation, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. It is expected Fisher will be in the lineup Saturday night, without participating in a practice beforehand.
Saturday night’s game is the first time Nashville hosts the Avalanche this season and will play them one more time at Bridgestone Arena. Game time is 7 pm. There were less than 300 tickets available on Friday afternoon so the game is sure to be yet another Smashville sellout.
– Photo Credit: Getty Images
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