On June 11, 17,271 fans rocked Bridgestone Arena for Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final. The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 2-0 and took the Cup that night, but anyone who was there will remember the support Music City gave its hockey team.
For Mike Fisher, that night was a terrific sendoff for his hockey career. The 37-year-old center announced his retirement Thursday morning.
“I can still picture it vividly,” Fisher, a veteran of 17 NHL seasons wrote in an op-ed in The Tennessean. “I gasped. How was there that many people there? And all to support us? It was almost incomprehensible.”
While Fisher called the day “bittersweet” — the Preds lost after all — he knew wouldn’t play a game quite like that ever again.
From the bottom of our hearts, #ThanksMike.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) August 3, 2017
The Predators said goodbye with this video.
In his op-ed, Fisher was humble, praising everyone who supported him throughout his career.
Closing a chapter like this — one that’s lasted 17 years — makes me think about the support I’ve received my whole life from my family, friends, even people I’ve never met that have prayed for me throughout my career. It’s impossible to thank every one of them, but I’ll try. I hope this letter shows some kind of gratitude to them, to the Ottawa Senators, to David Poile, who brought me to Nashville and put his faith in me, to the entire Nashville Predators organization, teammates, owners, coaches and trainers; the way they’ve treated me has always been with the utmost kindness.
I approached this season with the mindset that it could be my last, and now that it’s past, I’m looking forward to a future that includes a lot more time with my family. Things change when you have kids and you have a family. They’ve supported me without question, and now it’s my turn to return the favor.
A thank you here isn’t enough to say goodbye with, but all those memories, like the moments in the locker room before Game 6, cherishing those is what I hope will keep me, this team and the city intertwined forever.
Fisher is married to country music superstar Carrie Underwood. The couple has one child, an 18-month-old little boy. Fisher spent 10 years with the Ottawa Senators and was “crushed” to be traded in 2011, one year after marrying Underwood. But the hockey player was going somewhere special.
“When I was packing up my stuff to go to the airport, I got a call from Eugene Melnyk, the owner of the Senators,” Fisher said that the time. “He thanked me for my time in Ottawa, and then he said something I will never, never forget. He said, ‘You know Fish, I just wanted you to be with your wife.'”
— NHL (@NHL) August 3, 2017
“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I know I’ve made the right one,” said Fisher.
Headline photo: Bruce Bennett
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