NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators are optimistic center Mike Fisher will be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday, general manager David Poile said.
"I think there's a real good chance of that," Poile said Wednesday. "I'm pretty sure you'll see him on the ice [at practice Thursday], so let's just give that a couple of days. But I'm optimistic that he will be available."
Fisher left Game 4 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks because of an undisclosed injury after taking a knee to the head by Ducks defenseman Josh Manson during the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss.
Fisher sat out the final 6:55 of Game 4 and did not play in Games 5 or 6. He was on the ice for the trophy presentation after the Predators' 6-3 victory in Game 6.
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The Predators will play the winner of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators in the Cup Final. Nashville will open on the road against either opponent.
Fisher, the Predators captain, does not have a point in 14 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 72 games during the regular season.
When the Predators traded captain Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman P.K. Subban on June 29, they needed Fisher to step into more of a leadership role. Fisher was acquired in a trade with the Senators on Feb. 10, 2011.
"In my mind, one of the best trades I ever made was getting [Fisher] here, for a whole bunch of reasons," Poile said. "One of it was leadership. If he wasn't a captain, he was an assistant. He's always been an assistant. I mean, I always said if Daniel Alfredsson wasn't in Ottawa when [Fisher] was in Ottawa, [Fisher] probably would have been the captain in Ottawa for the last 10 years.
"When I approached him, he said, 'Oh, I don't need that.' And I said 'No, no. You may not need it, but we need it. With [Weber] going, we need you now. This is your time to be the leader, and the leader wears the 'C.' We need you now.' And Mike has been terrific."