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Mike Fisher of Predators considering options for future

Nashville captain can become unrestricted free agent July 1

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher said Tuesday he has not made a decision whether he will return to the NHL next season.

The 37-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and could re-sign with the Predators, sign with another team or retire.

"Honestly, right now, I haven't really even gotten to that place as far as [if] I want to separate myself from the game," Fisher said. "The biggest factor is prayer, to be honest, and figuring out what is next, what God wants and trying to figure that out. That's the biggest factor really.

"I love playing the game. I love being around the guys. That, to me, is more important than a Cup. This year was the best year I've had as far as fun and being around just a great group of guys, a city that came together. There's so many positives. It's pretty cool."

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Fisher on Preds' Stanley Cup Final run

Fisher has played 17 seasons in the NHL, 11 with the Ottawa Senators before he was traded to the Predators on Feb. 10, 2011. He just finished his first season as captain of the Predators and has played 1,088 regular-season NHL games.

The Predators lost the Stanley Cup Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games, the second time Fisher has lost in the final round (2007 with Ottawa against the Anaheim Ducks). He said not having won a Stanley Cup will not be a factor in his decision.

"Everyone wants to win in this game, no one probably more than me," Fisher said. "But there's other things. At the end of the day, this is a game. It's an important part of my life, but it's not everything and there's other decisions and other people that are involved, so we'll take those into account. For me, it's faith, family and then hockey. So we'll see where that fits in because, like I said, I love being part of this group. I had a blast."

Fisher has had a major impact on the development of some of Nashville's younger players while still being productive. He finished the regular season with 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) and set the tone for the rest of the team with his work ethic.

"Since Day One, he's been one of those guys that you definitely try to learn as much as you can from," forward Filip Forsberg said. "It's pretty special to play with a guy like that. He always shows up to work. It doesn't matter what happened the day before. 

"He's the hardest-working guy even though he's the oldest guy on the team, and that's something that you definitely take a lot from coming in as a young guy. You see the hardest-working guy is the oldest guy. It definitely proves that he's doing something right and definitely one of the best players that I've ever played with. That's for sure."

The Predators don't know what Fisher's future holds but say they have enjoyed having him as their captain.

"Awesome, awesome," defenseman P.K. Subban said. "And all I can hope is that he's back again next year."

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