The Ottawa Senators made a tough decision today, sending a loyal, hard-working player in Mike Fisher to the Nashville Predators. Fisher, the husband of pop singer Carrie Underwood and 10-year veteran of the Sens, did not ask to be traded but likely will not be unhappy with the move as it puts himself back in playoff contention as well as moves him to the same city as his wife.
Fisher is signed through the the 2012-2013 season and gives the Predators a contingency plan should Matthew Lombardi not return from a concussion this or next season. More importantly they add to their roster, which is already in playoff contention, while not removing anyone from the lineup. The 30-year-old could slot right into the top line, which would push David Legwand back to the third line– a role that would better fit his defensive style.
On the flip side, Ottawa will receive a first round pick in the 2011 draft and a conditional pick in the 2012 draft, starting their youth movement early. If you watched last night’s interview with Maple Leafs’ GM Brian Burke, it seems teams are eager to get the jump on the trade deadline, which will be on February 28th. The Sens did exactly that and should continue to get younger as they watch their older and formerly elite players in Alex Kovalev, Sergei Gonchar and Daniel Alfredsson all fail to carry the team.
Expect players like Jim O’Brien and Jesse Winchester to get a chance to fill Fisher’s hole in the lineup. This trade will not be the last one for Ottawa as they seem to be one of roughly six teams willing to sell right now.
Regardless, excellent move for the Preds as they acquire their top six forward without sacrificing too much. Expect them to make another solid run down the stretch as Fisher fits their hard-working identity perfectly.