Although he was only the captain of the Predators for one season, Mike Fisher's impact can be felton and off the ice. Akind and caring individualoutside the rink, iron-fisted and highly-competitive on it, Fisher will no doubt leave a sizable hole in Nashville's locker room -- especially in terms of class and leadership.
Withhis announced retirement as of Thursday morning, it's time we take a look back athis top five moments in a Predators sweater.
5. Don't poke the bear
Late in the third period on Jan. 10, 2015, with the Predators leading 3-1, Wild defenseman Nate Prossergarnered the ire ofFisher and decided right then would be the time to try and exact some retribution onthe Nashville center.
What followed was a thorough -- and embarrassing -- beatdown.Coming from the fists of Fisher.
There haven't been very many Predators players who I've routinely thought that opposing skaters should stay away from when trying to drop the gloves, but Fisher is definitely one of them. He has an edge to his game that will be sorely missed in Nashville, but at the same time a nasty sidethat can be drawn out if you're brave enough.
Prosserlearned firsthand just how tough Mike Fisher really is.
4. One thousand reasons why
Stepping on the ice for your first game in the NHL is a very memorable experience. You're a rookie who has climbed the ranks through the various minor leagues all your life to thisone moment.
Nine hundred and ninety ninegames later, you're a seasoned veteran and amidst a group of 300-plus elite ironmen who've gutted out over 1,000 games in their NHL careers. It's not a small accomplishment in the least andone the league, and it's clubs, take very seriously.
March 3rdof the2016season, Fisher played in the1,000th gameof his career -- a 5-4 overtimelossto the Los Angeles Kings. Nashville celebrated that feat 18 days later and showered him with gifts: the normal silver stick, a photo collage, a commemorative crystal and a gift that his teammates personally picked out for him. He would also be honored again by the Ottawa Senators, the team that drafted him, eight months later.
Fisher would addanother 88 games and currently stands tied with Alex Tanguay for 198th overall in NHL history for most games played at 1,088.
3.The tooth is in the details
It's fun to say this again, butFisher is not someone you want to mess with on the ice. Just like Kevin Klein or Shea Weber from years past, Fisher has a mean couple of hooks in hisrepertoire.
While we've already cataloged Nate Prosser's experience with this, let's talk about Kevin Bieksa.
Bieksa's fight with Fisher early in the 2015-16 season seemed like just an ordinary bout, one that both players handled quite well. Upon closer investigation however, Bieksa lost something that most would definitely have a problem with losing: a tooth.
Fisher ended up connecting with a straight left jab to the face of Bieksa, knocking out one of his teeth in the process.Just another reason why Fisher is going to be missed in Nashville.
2. A desperation pass
Down 2-1 in this past summer's Stanley Cup Final against the Penguins and clinging to a 2-1 lead midway through the second period of Game 4, the Predators needed another catalyst tohopefully extend their lead and tie the series heading back to Pittsburgh.
Fisher's always been a player to go the extra milewhen on the ice,something that's spread like avirus throughout the roster since he's been a member of the team.
As defenseman Roman Josi attempted to clear the puck from the defensive zone,James Neal wouldsomehow get the puck poked out, but right toPenguins star Evgeni Malkin.Fisher, who was skating out of the zone, caught up to Malkin and got a piece of the puck. In the process, however, Fisher lost his footing and started falling towards the ice.
Seconds later, Viktor Arvidsson netted a sweet wrister past Matt Martin to make the score 3-1.
Prefacing the goalwas one of the more brilliant, and fortunate, passes that I've ever seen. It's something that will easily remain one of the greatest plays in Predators history.
1.The Longest Game
When you're watching a hockey game at 1:00am early on a Friday,it's either a sign that you'resimulating too many games on the latest version of NHL on your gaming console orit's a lengthy playoff overtime game that has no signs of ending.
Luckily the latter was the case in this instance.
Watching Game 4of the 2016 Western Conference semifinals between Nashville and San Jose, there was an feeling of uneasinessblanketing the weary fans inside Bridgestone Arena. As thefirst and second overtime period passed by, including a close scare that could have given the Sharks a 3-1 stranglehold lead in the series, Predators fans knew that a hero was going to need to emerge in miraculous fashion for Nashville to stand a chance of winning the series.
In the blink of an eye, exhaustion turned to jubilation for the fans who stayed to watch this epic.
What started as a completely innocuous play in San Jose's end turned into a comedy of bounces favoring the Predators with the game-winning puck ending up on Fisher's stick as he skated towards the crease. It's the only timeNashville has played and won an overtime playoff game eclipsing more than two overtime periods. It won't be the last, but it's most certainly the most memorable Mike Fisher moment in his career with the Predators.