Fighting to stay out of last place in the NHL standings, the Ottawa Senators promised changes to their lineup. Team owner Eugene Melnyk wanted Bryan Murray to shed salary and begin the process of rebuilding the franchise as the trade deadline approached. With unrestricted free agents like Alex Kovalev, Chris Phillips and Jarkko Ruutu available, many fans were surprised to hear today that the first player on the way out of Ottawa is Mike Fisher.
Popular with the fans and his teammates, Mike Fisher is on his way to Nashville to join the Predators in exchange for a 1st round draft pick in the 2011 NHL Draft and a conditional pick in 2012. Fisher is a “streaky” scorer, with 14 goals and 10 assists in 55 games this season; he may not score for five or six games in a row, but then he will put the team on his shoulders and win a game single-handedly with a three-point night. That ability to takeover the flow of a game surely interested the Nashville Predators as they make a push for the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Fisher has battled injuries during the past few seasons in Ottawa and he never quite emerged as the consistent second line scorer the Senators so desperatley need, but there is little doubt that he gave it his all every night. Ottawa’s second round pick in the 1998 draft (44th overall), he has worn the Senators uniform for 675 games in the NHL.
The Senators will comment on the deal later today – There will be a more detailed analysis on the deal and a look back at Fisher’s time in Ottawa here at The Hockey Writers tomorrow.