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Mike Fisher named Predators captain

Replaces Shea Weber after four seasons as alternate

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Mike Fisher was named captain of the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Fisher replaces Shea Weber, who was captain the past six seasons before he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for P.K. Subban on June 29.

"To me it's an honor to be looked upon as a captain of a National Hockey League team, to be a captain of this team, such a great team with a great group of guys," Fisher said. "I never really expected to be a captain, really. I mean I had always hoped to be. That being said, I'm still going to try and lead the same way I've always led. Maybe a little bit more responsibility." 

Fisher, 36, was traded to Nashville by the Ottawa Senators for two NHL Draft picks on Feb. 10, 2011, and was an alternate captain the past four seasons. He has 258 goals and 285 assists in 1,016 NHL regular-season games, and 23 goals and 24 assists in 114 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"He's always been a leader on the team," Predators forward Colin Wilson said. "Always led by example, always brought a lot to the ice and to the dressing room. A bit of a no-brainer. Some really good choices out there as well, but [Fisher] is going to be great."

Predators coach Peter Laviolette and general manager David Poile had discussions about filling the captaincy after trading Weber, and each felt Fisher embodied the characteristics they were looking for on and off the ice.

"It is the right choice," Laviolette said. "There's a lot of confidence that we made that choice, and we got the right guy. After being around [Fisher] and watching him and seeing how he handles the team and how he works every day and how he interacts with his players and coaches, we 100 percent made the right call."

The Predators have been a team on the rise the past two seasons, eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference First Round in 2015 and by the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the second round last season.

"I think this year we're going to have as much talent as we've ever had, which is exciting," Fisher said. "I think there's a good group of young guys that really work hard and approach the game the right way and are ready to start the game and are great teammates. For guys like them, they're only going to get better and better. I think we have a real good chance to do something really special and build on what we did last year and keep going and getting better."

Fisher said the Predators can use the past two seasons as a learning experience.

"I think sometimes you can learn a lot from not getting there too," Fisher said. "That feeling of not winning. How are we going to be better as a team? We have to do more. We have to be better and trying to find that way. I think we got a taste of a little bit of success, which is a good thing, but at the same time we can't be happy in that because as players we want to win. We've got to find a way to be better. I think we're doing that as a team and as a franchise, and I'm excited about that."

The buzzword around the Predators this offseason has been "excitement." They made a big move when they acquired Subban, and that fueled an anticipation around Nashville for the upcoming season.

"I understand the trade," Fisher said. "It's obviously hard losing a good friend and a great person in [Weber]. We all know who he is and what he's all about, but at the same time [we're] excited to be getting a really good hockey player in [Subban]. Someone that brings energy to the game. I think fans are going to love him. He's going to bring a lot to our team."

Since his arrival, Fisher has been heavily involved in the community. His work with Room at the Inn, a charity in downtown Nashville that provides help for the homeless, has been a key part of his work off of the ice.

Tweet from @PredsNHL: Introducing the seventh captain in #Preds history... ���� >>

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