During the 2010-11 season there was one logical destination for former Senators center Mike Fisher.
The veteran Ottawa forward was one of the team’s most tradeable assets during a rebuild year. He knew it. The Senators knew it. There were a group of suitors for Fisher, but only one place really made sense for him. Nashville and the Predators.
And partially through the collective wits of owner Eugene Melnyk and general manager Bryan Murray did Fisher go there. With both battling health issues, and Melnyk having disclosed he needs a live liver donor, Fisher brought perspective to Ottawa’s decision to deal him to a team closer to his wife, country music star Carrie Underwood, and the importance of Melnyk in that choice.
Via the Ottawa Sun
“When Eugene took over, the first thing I noticed was just his passion for hockey and how he treated the guys,” Fisher said late Thursday night from Nashville. “Obviously, he wanted to win, but man, he treated me so well.
“He talked to Bryan. He told him to trade me to Nashville, so I could be with Carrie. Not too many owners would have done that.
“He could have traded me anywhere, but he cares about his guys. He does care about his players and his team. I’m forever grateful to him.”
The Senators needed a willing trade partner and fortunately for Fisher, the Predators provided this. The team at the time was good but lacked depth at center and needed more veteran poise to muscle up for a playoff run. Fisher provided this, at the cost of a first-round draft pick.
Personally, Fisher has been able to spend more time with Underwood. The two welcomed their first child in the middle of the past hockey season. With Fisher hockey is valued, but family always comes first. Balance is important in his life, and he has that in Nashville.
Fisher is an unrestricted free agent this summer, but there have been no signs that he and the Predators want to part ways. It was partially because of Melnyk that this other marriage in Fisher’s life, happened.
As for Melnyk, Fisher hopes the Senators owner, who gave him a chance to be closer to his wife, can have a second chance at life.
“I’ve always liked Eugene. He’s done so much for the that team, that city," Fisher said, via the Sun. "He’s done so much for the people in that city.
"I’m definitely hoping he pulls through and everything works out.”
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