• PRINT
  • RSS

Instant Analysis: The Fisher Trade

Thursday, 02.10.2011 / 12:29 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
X
Share with your Friends


Instant Analysis: The Fisher Trade
Today’s trade for Mike Fisher makes a strong statement both on the ice and in the locker room. On the ice, Fisher instantly becomes the Preds highest scoring center. He’s been a consistent 20-goal scorer, passing the mark in four of the past five seasons, and his 14 goals trail only Patric Hornqvist (16 goals) and Sergei Kostitsyn (15).

  Mike Fisher Trade Press Release
  Mike Fisher $12 Ticket Offer
  Poile Talks to PredsTV
  Fisher Talks to SensTV
  Fisher at City of Hope Celeb Softball Game

With Mathew Lombardi’s injury in Game 2 of the season, the skilled depth at center has been challenged. Cal O’Reilly did an admirable job blunting the effects of Lombardi’s loss, but O’Reilly was lost to injury in early January. Adding Fisher allows the Preds to go Fisher, Legwand, Goc down the middle with Nick Spaling or Jerred Smithson anchoring the shutdown/match-up line. When O’Reilly returns and if Lombardi returns this season, the coaches have options. Goc, Spaling, and Smithson have all played wing before. Fisher has played the wing in international competitions for Team Canada.

The Preds now have the collection of centers to help take advantage of the depth off the wing. Hornqvist has continued to be a reliable scoring line option, as have Martin Erat and Steve Sullivan. Kostitsyn (23 years old) and Colin Wilson (21) have stepped up as dangerous young wingers. Marek Svatos has elite offensive skill and J-P Dumont is a proven veteran (reaching the 40-point mark in each of the last nine seasons and eclipsing 60 points in three of the last four campaigns). Joel Ward, Matt Halischuk, Spaling, Smithson have all played key checking line roles on the wing this season.

Coach Trotz and staff have real competition in practice for ice time. And a multitude of line combination options available to them. Fisher fits into many of those options. He’s consistently been among Ottawa’s leading penalty kill forwards (he was a finalist for the 2006 Selke Trophy – awarded to the league’s top defensive forward) and among their top power-play contributors (scored 10 power-play goals last season), as well as a consistent even strength performer (he tied for Ottawa’s team lead in even strength goals last season and was tied for team honors in even strength goals again this season).

Off the ice, this move makes a loud statement. It shows that the coaches and management feel the team is ready to take the next step and compete for a lengthy playoff run. That message goes a long way in the locker room. But Fisher is not a “rental” player. He is under contract for the next two seasons (through the end of the 2012-13 season). He is a player that not only provides a boost this season, but will be counted on as a key component next year and beyond. And Fisher's a leader – he was an Alternate Captain in Ottawa and has played in 75 NHL Playoff Games, including a Stanley Cup Finals.

And don’t discount the impact of pulling the trigger on this deal two-and-a half weeks before the deadline. The Preds will get eight more games out of Fisher this year – and 10 additional practice days to firm up line combinations.


SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36