The Nashville Predators got a huge boost on Wednesday, as former captain Mike Fisher is set to come out of retirement and rejoin a team that fell two games short of winning the Stanley Cup last year.
TSN's Bob McKenzie broke the news:
Big news out of NSH with the Predators set to announce Mike Fisher @mikefisher1212 is coming out of retirement to return as an active player. Not sure anyone saw this coming, perhaps including Fisher himself.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 31, 2018
Word is Fisher was quite content in retirement but NSH reached out to him in recent weeks and planted the seed about a possible return. And here we are today, with Fisher having agreed to terms on what is believed to be a one year deal for the balance of this season.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 31, 2018
McKenzie also added that Fisher should join the team "sometime between now and the Feb. 26 trade deadline/roster setting."
Fisher retired after the Pittsburgh Penguins beat his Predators, four games to two in the Stanley Cup Final. The perennial two-way talent scored 18 goals and 42 points last season, suggesting he still had plenty left in the tank. Fisher added four assists in 20 playoff games last year.
Fisher - who's married to star country singer Carrie Underwood - announced his retirement in August, saying he "became certain that it was right" to hang up the skates. At the time of his retirement, Fisher had 276 goals and 585 points in 1,088 points.
He was drafted 44th-overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Fisher would play with the Senators until he was traded to the Music City during the 2010-11 season. Fisher helped the Senators reach their first Stanley Cup Final in 2007, where they lost to the Anaheim Ducks in six games.
Roman Josi has taken over as captain for Fisher, and the Preds are among the NHL's top teams in 2017-18. They sit at second in the Central Division with a 29-12-7 record - trailing the Winnipeg Jets by three points.
Fisher's excellent defensive game and leadership will bring a major boost to the Predators, who look poised to embark on another deep playoff run. They weren't struggling without Fisher, but he undoubtedly makes the team that much better.
It'll be interesting to see if Fisher's return convinces general manager David Poile to stand pat at the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline. Though he is among the most aggressive at this time of the year, Poile's roster already gets deeper and stronger with Fisher coming back.