Since being traded by the Ottawa Senators to the Nashville Predators in 2011, National Hockey League (NHL) veteran center Mike “Fish” Fisher was named captain of the so-called “Smashville Preds.”
Married to country music superstar and Nashville resident Carrie Underwood, while playing for the Ottawa Senators in Canada, Fisher certainly had a long commute to be with his bride before relocating to Tennessee.
After a virtually unprecedented “trade of heart,” the Senators and Predators struck a deal that sought to reunite the long-distance newlyweds. On Feb. 27, 2015, their son, Isaiah, was born. Dogs Ace and Penny round out the family of four.
You were born and raised in Ontario. How is the culture different in Nashville?
The adjustment was surprisingly easy. The cities are very similar in size, and the people are so nice. Really, it feels like home for me and my family. It is a great fit. I love every part of Nashville—the culture of it, the fact that there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. Carrie and I love the countryside, too, and that’s where our family will end up.
What does giving back to the community mean to you?
It’s everything. I think it’s so important for our team. Our organization does such a great job of getting the guys involved with different charities. To be a part of that, to be able to use our influence, is a privilege. Nashville as a whole is such a special giving city. It’s all about charity.
Describe your first day in the Predators locker room.
Strange. It was my first time being traded. Being in a new locker room with different guys, trying to learn all their names. [It was] weird. But at the same, I was definitely happy to be here.
What is your relationship like with Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette?
Peter is a tremendous coach. We’re all grateful and fortunate he’s here. The whole coaching staff has done a tremendous job.
This is your 18th year in the NHL. How did it feel when Coach Laviolette asked you to become captain?
It’s an honor and something I never really expected to happen.
What is your philosophy as captain?
Lead by example on and off the ice. Approach the games and practices the best way I can. Be the best person I can be. My goal is to encourage the guys along the way, to teach them. And I can learn a lot from [them], too. It’s reciprocal. I love being around the team.
Describe how you felt on May 5, 2016, with eight minutes left in triple overtime against the Sharks, when you scored the game-winning goal?
Oh, the excitement! The buzz of the arena and the reaction of the fans and players—it’s something you’ll never forget. You just can’t beat [team sports] for that reason. We’re all in it together. We’ve all invested so much. I got the goal, but it was about all of us and getting the win for the fans. It’s something I’ll never forget.
How would it feel to raise the Stanley Cup for the Predators?
I can’t imagine the way our fans would be. The closer we get, the more I hope we’ll have the chance to do just that; to raise the Stanley Cup. There would be no better place than Nashville to do it.