Mike Fisher is an exceptional leader on the ice and owns a passion for community service off of it. For the third time in the last four seasons, his peers have recognized those qualities in the Nashville Predators assistant captain.
Fisher was nominated last week for the 2015 King Clancy Memorial Trophy by his Preds teammates, an award handed out annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Those requirements describe Fisher to a T.
“He’s a class act,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “His leadership and just how he carries himself, you respect the way he plays on the ice and the leader he is in the locker room. He’s an important piece for our team.”
For Fisher, the nomination is humbling, but the fact that it comes from his teammates means that much more to the 34-year-old center.
“Any time you’re nominated by your teammates, I think, it’s more special than anything because those are the guys you’re with all the time,” Fisher said. “Hopefully, I can continue to do more and help out as much as I can [in the community].”
Fisher believes that his involvement in charitable efforts around Nashville stem in part from the outstanding work done by the Nashville Predators Foundation. The Peterborough, Ontario, native has become well acclimated to the Music City during four-plus seasons in a Preds uniform, and it’s a trend that likely won’t be winding down anytime soon.
“The Preds Foundation has done such a great job here getting guys involved and matching some of the guys’ passions with certain charities,” Fisher said. “There’s no other team in the League, I don’t believe, that does more work than our team as far as getting involved, whether it be youth hockey, children’s charities, outreaches, lots of different things, and that starts with the organization. They’ve done a great job in leading that direction and the guys have really done a great job.”
Already with established relationships with Nashville organizations such as Cottage Cove, Room in the Inn and Rocketown, Fisher believes that the possibilities to give back are endless.
“There’s more that I want to do and sometimes it’s hard to do with our schedule, but I try to get involved as much as I can,” Fisher said. “There are so many great organizations and people in this city that do so much, and it’s definitely an honor to be [involved with them].”
While Fisher takes care of those that are less fortunate in his spare time, those that he skates alongside on a daily basis share the benefits of interacting with the Preds center. When it comes to helping to lead his club on the ice, Fisher is undoubtedly well respected by his teammates in all facets.
“I think he lets his actions speak for himself, but when things need to be said, he’s definitely one of the guys who steps up,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said. “When he speaks, guys listen and he’s a veteran presence in our locker room. He’s obviously a very well-deserved nominee.”
“It’s just the kind of person he is,” goaltender Pekka Rinne said of Fisher’s on and off ice efforts. “I’m very happy that I have a chance to play on the same team and get to know the guy. He’s just a good human being on and off the ice and sets an example both on and off the ice. He’s somebody that’s easy to look up to and I’m very happy for him [to receive the nomination].”
The ability to have an impact on all walks of life - no matter the setting - isn’t an attribute learned overnight. But that’s just who Fisher is; someone who is as comfortable leading his teammates as he is in assisting those in need.
So whether he’s dishing out hits or happiness, it’s all in a day’s work for No. 12 in Gold.
“We’re blessed as players to be able to play the game we love,” Fisher said. “To have a bit of a platform to share some of our passions and to help others, it’s an honor.”