Tha Sports Junkies 101

Mike Fisher: Life Hall of Fame Member

Mike Fisher: Life Hall of Fame Member Bridget Samuels/via Flickr

Former Nashville captain made difference on and off ice


On August 3, center Mike Fisher announced his retirement from the NHL after 17 seasons. Fisher played 1,088 games in those 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators.

The Peterborough, Ontario native had a solid NHL career. He tallied 276 goals and 585 points during his time in the league. He added 23 goals and 51 points in 134 career playoff games. His best season, statistically speaking, came in 2009-10 as a member of the Senators. Fisher scored a career-high 25 goals and 53 points in 79 games that year.

Fisher also made two trips to the Stanley Cup Final (2007 and 2017) during his NHL run. Unfortunately, he was on the losing side both times.

When you look at Mike Fisher’s NHL resumé, it doesn’t impress you with gaudy numbers or a bunch of individual awards. You won’t see multiple 30-plus goal, 80-90-point seasons. You won’t see MVP awards, Art Ross trophies, or Ted Lindsay awards.

But don’t let that fool you. Mike Fisher made an impact, both on and off the ice, in both cities he played in.


While Fisher didn’t put up huge numbers, he was pretty consistent. He was a double digit goal scorer in 13 of his 17 seasons in the league. Six of those times he reached the 20-goal plateau. He tallied 30 or more points 11 times.

Fisher was also a competitive and reliable centerman. He had a face-off winning percentage of at least 50% 10 times during his career. His competitiveness at center helped him get nominated for the Selke Trophy in 2006 as the league’s best defensive forward.

His competitiveness was also shown through his physicality.

From 2005-06 to last season, Fisher was top-6 on his team in hits every season he played over 50 games. Excluding the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Fisher registered over 100 hits every year from 2005-06 to 2016-17. He had over 200 hits in three straight seasons from 2007-08 to 2009-10.

Yet, he played with a controlled physicality. Fisher never had more than 82 penalty minutes in a season. He finished his career averaging only 47.5 penalty minutes per season.

It was this rugged, “old-time hockey”, “play for keeps” style of game he played that endeared him to fans, teammates, and coaches in both Ottawa and Nashville. Whenever former teammates and coaches talk about Fisher, you usually hear praise about his competitiveness, as well as his leadership.

He wore the “A” for alternate captain with both the Senators and Predators. This past season, he was the obvious choice to replace Shea Weber as team captain for Nashville. His leadership was shown on the ice and in the locker room pretty much every night. It was also shown, though, in the community.


In both Ottawa and Nashville, Fisher was consistently giving back to the community.

With the Senators, he was an unofficial community ambassador for the team. He created a hockey camp that gives money to multiple charities, as well as being a part of charity events held in and across Canada’s capital.

He continued his charitable contributions when he arrived with the Predators. Fisher became involved with various charities and non-profit organizations in the Nashville area. In one instance, he donated $40,000 to help a non-profit organization in Nashville purchase a van for that organization’s youth center.

Because of acts like these, Fisher won the NHL’s Foundation Award in 2012. The award “recognizes a player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance, and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.”

He continues his contributions to the community even after hanging up the skates. In the week after announcing his retirement, Fisher spent a few days in Haiti working with the organization, Danita’s Children.

Fisher is currently a director of the board for the organization, whose purpose is to provide “education, nutrition, medical and dental care, and Christ-like love to the children and families we serve” there on the island of Haiti.


You combine his ability to play the game and his work off the ice, it’s easy to see why Fisher is loved in both Ottawa and Nashville. It’s also easy to see why so many people outside of those cities respect him.

In a day and age where focusing solely on one’s self is prevalent, it’s refreshing to see guys like Mike Fisher. Guys who stick to what they believe in, give everything they have 100% of the time, and put others before themselves. That’s what made me a fan of his.

I first really found out about Fisher during the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. His Ottawa Senators were facing against the Anaheim Ducks, my favorite team.


I believe it was during Game 2 of that series where they did a small in-game segment on Fisher. They discussed the reason and meaning behind something he had written on his tape at the knob of his stick.

What he had written on there represented a Bible verse. As a person who shares his same faith, I thought it was pretty cool because I wasn’t really aware of many hockey players that were Christian. So I paid extra attention to him when he was out there the rest of the series.

I watched how he battled for every puck. How he worked hard on both sides of the puck. How he seemed to never take a shift off.

In Game 5, with Anaheim up 3-1 in the series, the Ducks came out swinging and looking to put the Senators away. They dominated the Senators for most of the first period. Ottawa looked out-matched and some of the Senators players seemed to be waiting for the inevitable: for the Ducks to win.

Mike Fisher was not one of them. Multiple times throughout that game, Mike Emerick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire commented on and praised Fisher’s persistence and constant work effort, despite his team’s lackluster performance.

Even though his team would lose the game and series, Fisher did not lose my respect or admiration. This past spring, I rooted for Fisher and the Predators in the Cup Final, even though they eliminated the Ducks to get there.


It’s pretty certain Fisher won’t get elected into the Hall of Fame. As mentioned earlier, he never had spectacular regular season numbers or a trophy case full of individual awards. However, his contributions on and off the ice earned him the respect and admiration of many.

While many athletes long to leave a lasting legacy in the arena or stadium, Fisher has left one that is bigger than the rink he played in. It is one that will even outlast all of those ice rinks and stadiums.

It may have not been his intention to do so, but he epitomizeS what it means to be a true leader. Someone who leads by example. Someone who put the team’s desires before their own. A person who accepts the role they are given and gives everything they have in that role.

His legacy isn’t defined by numbers, awards, or championship parades. It is defined by the work he put in on the ice. It’s defined by the work he’s put in off the ice. His legacy is defined by the lives he’s touched in and out of hockey.

Mike Fisher is not the greatest hockey player ever. However, he is one of the greatest people in hockey ever. And at the end of the day, being a great person goes far beyond than being a great player.