|Mike Fisher describes his reaction to wearing a new visor at practice on Thursday with head coach Bryan Murray. Photo: T. Anderson/OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
Mike Fisher is the lone Ottawa Senators player nominated for an NHL award. The hard-working forward got the nod as a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, an annual award given to an NHL forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.
"It's a great honour for me for sure," Fisher said after practice on Thursday. "It's nice to be put in that category for a league award. I was a little bit surprised. It's very nice to be recognized with pretty good company."
Other nominees for the award include Dallas Star Jere Lehtinen and Carolina Hurricane Rod Brind'Amour.
Fisher's teammates were proud to see the seven-year veteran receive some consideration after his career season. Centre Jason Spezza mused that the people choosing the nominees overlooked him.
"It's a joke," the Senators offensive star shouted to reporters with a laugh. "I worked hard all year for the Selke."
Senators head coach Bryan Murray feels Fisher was a logical choice as a finalist for the award, exemplifying a solid work ethic.
"It's great for him and it's great for the team. With his two-way play, he's a very responsible player."
This season Fisher set career highs in goals (22), assists (22) and points (44), all while maintaining dedicated play within his end of the ice. He finished with a + 23 rating, clearly the best rating of his career. The Peterborough native also had a career-best four goals while short-handed and had 150 shots on goal.
Only one other Senator has been nominated for the Selke award -- Magnus Arvedson in 1999. Only two individuals have ever won league awards as a member of the franchise: captain Daniel Alfredsson won the Calder Trophy in 1996 as rookie of the year and Jacques Martin won the Jack Adams Award in 1999 as coach of the year.
Murray, Dominik Hasek and Dany Heatley have won league awards with other teams. Hasek captured the Vezina Trophy in 1994, '95, '97, '98, '99 and 2001; the Hart Trophy in 1997 and '98 and the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1997 and '98 with the Buffalo Sabres. Heatley won the Calder Trophy in 2002 with the Atlanta Thrashers. Murray won the Jack Adams Award in 1984 with the Washington Capitals.