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Friends, Former Teammates Recall Best Memories with Mike Fisher

Prior to Mike Fisher Night in Nashville, Those Who Know Former Preds Captain Best Share Stories

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

You'd be hard pressed to find a better person than Mike Fisher.

One of the most popular members of the Nashville Predators in franchise history - and one of the most respected NHLers in recent memory - Fisher called it a career last spring after he came back for one last run with the Preds.

Fisher spent his final eight seasons in Nashville, and there was no lack of on-ice heroics, perhaps most notably when he scored against the San Jose Sharks in triple overtime of Game 4 in their 2016 Round Two series.

But for every one of those unforgettable moments in the spotlight, Fisher had just as many, if not more, when almost no one was watching.

Video: Mike Fisher returns for Preds' Mike Fisher Night

So, as the former Preds captain prepares to return to Bridgestone Arena on Monday for Mike Fisher Night, an evening that will allow the Loyal Legion an official opportunity to thank him for his contributions to the city he still calls home, it's apropos to hear from some of those who know him best.

From teammates and friends, recognizable names and everyday heroes, Fisher was, and still is, someone they look up to.

It's easy to see why.

Peter Laviolette, Predators Head Coach:

"What sticks out most is just the way he conducted himself every day, whether it be in hockey or in life. He was an example for our locker room on always being a professional, always doing the right thing, always being a great teammate, and he's just an exceptional person. He's an exceptional hockey player, but he was a better person. For me, to get to coach a guy like that for a few years was pretty special."

Roman Josi, Predators Captain and Fisher's Teammate from 2011-18:

"Being the captain now and having played under him, there's so many things I try to do like he did. Every time things don't go that well, I think to myself, 'What would Fish do in this situation?' He was such a great captain and was always so positive. He was a great leader, great person, and I think that's one thing for me, as a captain, I always think of him and it definitely helps me a lot."

Ryan Johansen, Predators center and Fisher's teammate from 2016-18:

"He's such a role model to everyone, even people he doesn't know and people that don't know him. I remember me and him were just cruising around Chicago, I think it was Christmastime, it was freezing out, and we were running in from store to store doing some Christmas shopping. There was this homeless man outside, and Fish literally went up to him and basically, with his words, was almost like giving him a hug. He gave him some money and said, 'Here, go get yourself warm,' but he actually talked to the guy for a few minutes, too. He said he was just kind of giving that guy a bright light to give him some warmth for that day, and that's the thing about Fish. It's not a couple of things he's done over his career, it's what he does every day, and that's just the best way to explain Fish,"

Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets Captain and Fisher's teammate with the Ottawa Senators from 2007-11:

"One of the biggest things that I respect so much about him, and it speaks a lot about him, was when I lost my mom to cancer, he actually showed up to the wake, which I thought was incredible. I know how busy guys' summers are, and for him to take time out of his schedule, and we knew each other, but not really close, and I had only been on the team for about a year and a half at that time, and for him to come down meant more to me than I could express. I think it just speaks volumes to the kind of guy he is, and I have a very high respect for Mike."

Chris Neil, former Ottawa Senators forward and Fisher's teammate from 2001-11:

"Mike's a role model for so many people, not just myself, but just how vocal he is with his journey and his faith, that means a lot. Growing up in a Christian family, my mom would take me to church all the time, but whenever I met Mike, it took me to the next level and made me realize that there's more to life than just hockey. I think Mike has that effect on everyone that he touches, and I always thought just because I played hockey with him, if I was his friend, it would've been the same kind of relationship with him, regardless of hockey. That's just the type of person he is."

Video: Preds teammates, management thank Mike Fisher

Todd Reynolds, President of Uptown Hockey and Fisher's agent:

"I went to one of his games, and I saw him before the pregame skate, and I said, 'Hey Fish, how are things going?' And he said, 'Well, I showed up this morning and I'm on the fourth line. I don't know why, nobody said anything to me… but you know what, Todd, one quick trip to the children's hospital will change my perspective pretty quickly.' See, normally it would be a mature, influential person in a player's life that's going to give that perspective to the player. They're going to say, 'Well, it's not really the end of the world and there's larger things in life,' and he's the one who caught himself from maybe feeling like he wasn't being treated fairly or that life was rough. Before I could even respond to what he said. He wasn't looking for sympathy, and I just thought, 'Boy, you just don't come across that very often.' Most guys are feeling sorry for themselves because they're not on the power play, and he's saying, 'I can go to the hospital and visit these poor children, my life is pretty good, I'm playing in the NHL.' And that's just who he is."

Video: Predators honor former captain Mike Fisher

Brent MacDonald, Executive Director of Cottage Cove Urban Ministries, Nashville:

"He doesn't do things for others so he can be in the limelight or because it's going to get him notoriety or fame or things of that sort. This was probably six or seven years ago, and we were doing some demolition on a piece of our building. He had heard about it through somebody in his church that we were going to be doing this, and he didn't really call or let us know he was going to do it, he just showed up on a Saturday when we had a bunch of people volunteering to come do it. He was wearing old clothes and a cap, and in fact, he was wearing a dust mask for a good portion of the day, and most of the people working with him didn't even realize it was Mike Fisher."

 Video: Mike Fisher Legacy Project founded at Room In The Inn

Rachel Hester, Executive Director of Room In The Inn, Nashville:

"His heart doesn't come along often. It's Music City, so there are people here who are wonderful volunteers and use their voice and their platform to bring awareness to the cause, but typically they come, they're there for the photo op, they say what they need to say and they may leave. Mike is different. I have literally sent him to the grocery store for chicken, and he has been here at the end sweeping the floor. He wasn't just there to be the leader, but he led through example and always for the underdog. He's super competitive, too. We once had an hour-long, giant Jenga contest here, and I thought the thing would take like 15 minutes. An hour into it, he's still playing. I think to be real with people is what he always brought. I love the fact that he broadened our community. He introduced us to people that are in his life every day, so his friends are now our friends. That's what Nashville is all about, is that we connect people and make sure they belong. And I love the fact that he did in that way."

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