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Preds Captain Fisher Will Take Time to Decide Future

Nashville's Leader is Unrestricted Free Agent, Still Loves Playing the Game

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Peter Laviolette has called him the "heartbeat of the Nashville Predators" - a person he'd want any of his players to model themselves after - on and off the ice.

Any of Laviolette's players would wholeheartedly agree with their head coach's sentiments regarding Nashville's captain.

That's why they all want him back more than anything next season, to lead the team to just two more wins than they had this spring. That's all it'll take.

So as the Preds prepared to depart for the summer, captain Mike Fisher knows it will be an important few months regarding his future. An unrestricted free agent, Fisher needs a new contract. Predators General Manager David Poile has stated many times that he'll have Fisher on his team as long as the centerman wants to keep playing.

And that's where the 37-year-old Fisher will take some time to think about the future.

"Right now, I haven't really gotten to that place," Fisher said Tuesday. "I want to separate myself from the game, and honestly, the biggest factor is prayer and figuring out what's next and what God wants. So I'll just try to figure that out, and that's the biggest factor, really.

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

Video: Fisher recalls his first season as Preds captain

While he may be unclear on his future, Fisher couldn't help but think about what's to come for this organization after accomplishing what they did during the 2016-17 campaign. Vocal from the start of the season in regard to his belief in the players they had in the locker room - even when things weren't going well - Fisher knew this group had the capability to do something special. And in many ways, they did.

"This team is so good," Fisher said. "I thought we deserved better in [the Stanley Cup Final], but we became a real team, which is one of the things I think I'm most proud of. We were just a team that never gave up, just all in together, and you could tell. That was pretty cool and that takes a great organization and coaching and players to buy in and people supporting us along the way to get there. but the future of this franchise is very, very bright."

A member of the organization since 2011, Fisher, like the rest of the players on the roster, had never seen anything quite like the fan support the Predators received over the course of the season, especially what transpired in the playoffs. That's something, Fisher says, that will stick with him for a long time.

"I was driving into the rink before a game one night and it kind of just hit me about how united this city is, in a time where there's a lot of division, too," Fisher said. "It was kind of cool to see. It didn't matter what political party or what race or whatever, it was just all about [the logo] and the city, and that was kind of cool to think about that. I thought that was so neat, people were just all in for the Preds. We felt it, we appreciated it and it was awesome."

Deservedly so, Fisher will take the time he needs to figure out what's next in what has already been a tremendous career and an even better life. But one thing is for sure - there's still a desire to compete for hockey's ultimate prize, and there's no place he'd rather do so.

"Everyone wants to win in this game, no one probably more than me, but there's other things," Fisher said. "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, its faith, family, and then hockey, really, so we'll see where that fits in, but I love being a part of this group."

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