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Fisher Signs; Motivated to Guide Preds to Next Level

by Faith Krogulecki / Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher was all smiles following the announcement he had signed a two-year, $8.8 million contract, paying him $4.8 million in 2015-16 and $4 million in 2016-17 to stay with the club in Nashville.

“I’m happy to be here,” Fisher said. “I’m thrilled that I’m going to be a part of this great organization for a couple more years, and there’s no better place to be than here for me. I’m excited, and I thank the Predators organization for all that they do. They’re a first-class organization.”

At the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, Preds General Manager David Poile made it clear about his intentions of signing Fisher, putting it on the top of his priority list.

Mike Fisher, we would love to have him back,” Poile said, during his end-of-season press conference in April. “He represents so much to our team, both on and off the ice...He's a real leader. I truly feel that the best place for Mike is here in Nashville. As long as I'm the manager, he can play as long as he wants.”

Since joining the Predators via trade from the Ottawa Senators in February of 2011, Fisher holds the No. 2 spot on the franchise points list, recording 78 goals, 94 assists and 172 points in 271 games.

“I knew [Nashville was a great place to play] coming in, even before I was traded, I had played with guys that had played here and anyone that has ever played here has loved it,” Fisher said. “You never hear anything bad about this organization, this city, the team. I think it’s well-known throughout the League that guys love playing here.”

Although he missed the first 21 games of the 2014-15 season recovering from an offseason Achilles injury, Fisher bounced back to set a career-high and tie for seventh in the League in shooting percentage (17.1) and won a career-high 52.3 percent of his faceoffs. After his training was cut short last summer due to injury, Fisher is looking forward to a full offseason to prepare for the season ahead.

“I definitely don’t want to repeat last summer,” Fisher said. “I’m looking forward to a good training camp, getting in there early and being a part [of the team] for the whole year. I was fortunate last year to come in when the team was playing really well, maybe insulated a bit by how well the team was playing until I caught up, and then I felt really good.”

Fisher tallied 39 points (19g-20a) in 59 games last season and was one of the most reliable two-way players on the team. He said on Friday it was his goal all along to get a contract with Nashville figured out as soon as possible.

“David [Poile] is always great to deal with, and we both were pointing in the same direction,” Fisher said. “We were both confident that it would get done.”

The signature on the dotted lined further cements Fisher’s desire to be in Nashville, and the Preds want him in Music City too.

“I’m happy because [my family] wants me to be a part of this, so it’s a good situation,” Fisher said. “[Nashville] has become home. I love the area and the people. It’s a great organization, a great team and good guys, so there is no better situation for me and I’m grateful for that.”

Not only is Fisher an offensive producer, his leadership was a primary reason the Predators made the playoffs last season. This year’s first-round elimination to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks has the team more motivated than ever before.

“We look at them [Chicago Blackhawks], what they’ve done in the last six years and you kind of measure up,” Fisher said. “I know the management and everyone is like, ‘Okay, how are we going to beat them?’ We feel like we played hard in that series. We were close, but they found a way to win through experience and they beat us. I think we just look how we’re going to get better to beat a team like that and next year, that could be us.”

Watch: Peter Laviolette talks Fisher contract and NHL Draft

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