Mike Fisher has remarked on previous occasions that his son, Isaiah, keeps him plenty busy in retirement. On Monday night, the hockey world got a firsthand look at just how enjoyable that itinerary must be.
The energetic 4-year-old joined his father on the ice at Bridgestone Arena for Mike Fisher Night and a ceremonial puck drops prior to Fisher's former teammates taking on the Edmonton Oilers.
Father and son traversed the temporary carpeting to center ice, and as Preds Captain Roman Josi and Oilers forward Milan Lucic bent down for the faceoff, little Isaiah produced the biggest smile between the four participants.
Then he dropped the puck. Then he dropped it again. And as Josi handed it back to him, the biscuit went down a third time, much to the delight of those clad in Gold.
After stretching out his foot to touch the frozen sheet, it was a full-on sprint for the little Fisher back to the Preds bench and straight down the tunnel, the hearts of the sellout crowd in his pocket.
And that was all before the game even began.
Fisher wouldn't have it any other way, and as the former Preds captain was on hand to be recognized for his contributions to Music City over the past eight years - both on the ice and in the community - he couldn't help but reminisce on the past and take a glimpse into the future.
Video: EDM@NSH: Mike Fisher and his son drop the puck
"The organization has far exceeded my expectations, and this is one of the best, if not the best in the League," Fisher said of the Preds. "This has become home for me, and I have so many good memories of this city and fans and lot of great friends here that I was able to play with. I just feel fortunate I was able to be a part of this team for eight years. This will be the first playoff that I've kind of been on the outside looking in but I'm looking forward to cheering them on."
While Fisher has had more time to spend with his wife Carrie and their two sons - with baby Jacob joining the family in January - he has still found a decent amount of opportunities to watch his friends and former teammates on the ice. The itch to play really isn't there anymore for Fisher, but the interest in the game, especially having just officially retired this past spring, is still relatively strong.
Fisher likes what he sees from the current Predators team, and even more so after the Trade Deadline acquisitions of Wayne Simmonds and Mikael Granlund, forwards the guest of honor was plenty familiar with from his playing days.
"Simmonds is hard nosed, really great in front of the net, good scorer and that's the guy you want on your team," Fisher said. "He's a good leader, and I don't know him personally, but I've heard a lot of great things about him on and off the ice. Granlund is just a great player, and I was surprised to see Minnesota give him up, because I think he's a really good player. I'm definitely happy for this organization to get a player like that."
Video: Mike Fisher returns for Preds' Mike Fisher Night
While Fisher knows he won't be making another return to the ice, he does want to remain involved with the Predators franchise, at least on the charitable side of things. His work with Room In The Inn and Cottage Cove Urban Ministries, among other organizations, has been well documented, and those endeavors have continued into his retirement.
He may not have the daily responsibilities around the rink any longer, but being a full-time dad and husband is the best gig of all, and Fisher has fully embraced his new role in Nashville.
After all, someone has to keep up with "Izzy."
"It's been the longest period where our family has been able to be at home and enjoy some sleepless nights," Fisher laughed. "I've been taking Isaiah to school every day and doing the fun things that a lot of times we don't really get to do because of our schedule. It's been awesome."