After nearly two decades in the NHL, Mike Fisher is calling it a career.
The Nashville Predators captain announced his retirement Thursday in a first-person piece in The Tennessean newspaper.
Fisher, 37, said he began the 2016-17 season unsure whether it would be his final season. Over time, the responsibility to his wife, country music star Carrie Underwood, and his 2-year-old son outweighed his desire to chase a Stanley Cup.
“I approached this season with the mindset that it could be my last, and now that it’s past,” Fisher writes, “I’m looking forward to a future that includes a lot more time with my family. Things change when you have kids and you have a family. They’ve supported me without question, and now it’s my turn to return the favor.”
It wasn’t an easy decision for the 1998 second-round draft pick. Fisher led the Predators to their best season in franchise history, getting Nashville to the sixth game of the Stanley Cup Final before the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Preds with a late goal in Game 6.
Over the course of the Predators’ run to the Cup Final, Nashville — an untraditional hockey market — became a hotbed for the sport. The city’s party atmosphere was unlike anything seen in the sport before.
“I believe that this team, that this city, is going to win a championship, and I’m going to be the biggest fan,” Fisher wrote. “No one will be happier than I will be to see it happen, because, these fans, they deserve it.”
Fisher’s 17-year career comes to end after 1,088 career regular-season games with 276 goals and 309 assists. Fisher also registered 23-28-51 totals in 134 career playoff games over his time with Nashville and the Ottawa Senators.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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