A Stanley Cup Final loss is unlike any other, but it was especially tough for the Nashville Predators. The franchise had never even seen a Conference Finals series, let alone a Stanley Cup.
The team is younger than most players in the league, with its inaugural season being in 1998. Twenty years later, the Predators don’t seem all that young. Veteran leadership is in fact their strength.
P.K. Subban, Pekka Rinne and captain Mike Fisher were keys to Nashville’s success. However, just a few months after the Predators’ Game 6 loss in the Finals, Captain Fisher announced his retirement.
But now he’s back
Fisher announced his return to the NHL, and it’s all kind of confusing. Fisher is a great player and fits in especially well on the Nashville roster.
It’s apparently something he has thought long and hard about for weeks, but does that mean he didn’t think that much about retiring in the first place?
I’m not saying he just decided to retire out of the blue, but it’s always odd when athletes come out of retirement so soon after a huge decision.
Going into last season’s playoffs, the Predators were ranked eighth in the Western Conference. They managed to sweep the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round — a team that has dominated the playoffs for the last 10 years — a feat that no one thought was possible.
Josi is the captain now
Defenseman Roman Josi has taken Fisher’s place as captain, and Josi is the perfect fit for the job. His playing style is aggressive, but he’s a level-headed athlete and there’s no way the Predators would’ve been able to make it to the finals without him.
As of now, the Predators are second in the Central Division. They’re right behind the Winnipeg Jets, who have a two point lead. They’ve been outstanding this season, but Nashville can definitely secure that second place spot.
They’ve been doing well without Fisher. He was an important presence on the team and a great captain, but the Predators have now adjusted to life without Fisher. Not to mention Josi has now filled that captain role.
Fisher won’t be coming back as captain, and his return might even hurt the team’s chances of doing well in the playoffs. They’re a stable, tightly-knit team and Fisher could disrupt that.
Obviously it’s not like he’s a completely new guy who no one knows. Almost everyone on the team has played with him before, and the whole team seems to be excited about his return.
And there’s no timetable for his return
Fisher said that it’s going to take some time before he suits up for a game. He’s only been out a few months, but that’s a significant amount of time to not be on the typical workout regimen of a professional athlete.
But once he’s back, it will be interesting to see where Fisher will stand on the roster. And when he’s ready to play, he might not play for much longer. He might not even stay on Nashville’s roster for that long. He’s coming back as a Predator, but they could trade him in a year or two. Who knows?