Fisher a true pro­fes­sional

Ottawa Sun - - SPORTS - BRUCE GARRIOCH

Mike Fisher was ev­ery­thing an NHL team wants in a player and more.

The for­mer Ot­tawa Se­na­tors cen­tre, who of­fi­cially re­tired on Thurs­day af­ter 17 NHL sea­sons, was an ex­am­ple that hard work can take a player a long way.

That’s why Se­na­tors as­sis­tant GM Randy Lee, who helped to play a big role in Fisher’s devel­op­ment as a player, was so proud what he was able to ac­com­plish dur­ing his ca­reer.

“He’s one of those guys that you like him as a player a lot, for what he brings to the ta­ble,” Lee said from his Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre of­fice on Thurs­day, “but you like him even more as a per­son for what he’s meant to this city, this or­ga­ni­za­tion, what he’s done to help us teach other play­ers the right way to play and the right way to re­spect the fans and the right way to por­tray yourself.

“His level of pro­fes­sion­al­ism is one of the best that we’ve ever had.”

Fisher had to work for ev­ery­thing he got — and was will­ing to put in the ef­fort.

“There was never an is­sue with Mike — what­ever you in­tro­duced to him, he was go­ing to do it and in­vest in him­self, he was al­ways try­ing to make him­self bet­ter and had fun at it,” Lee said. “He al­ways had a smile on his face. He liked the idea of work­ing hard and achiev­ing.

“He didn’t want any­thing to be handed to him. He wanted to put in the work and he felt that was the best route to get suc­cess. He was a great role model for a lot of our young play­ers. Him, Chris Neil and Chris Kelly, that group grew up to­gether.”

Lee said he is happy Fisher is go­ing out the way he wants to. He said the Se­na­tors didn’t want to trade him in 2011, but the or­ga­ni­za­tion had de­cided to re­build.

“It was very tough for me be­cause I was the guy who had to de­liver the mes­sage to the guys that we needed their no-trade lists,” Lee said. “That was tough. These guys were my friends. You have to keep it pro­fes­sional but they were friends.

“You’d go to their wed­dings, you’d see their fam­i­lies, when I had to de­liver that mes­sage that we needed no-trade lists and we had to make some moves it was a tough thing to do. I’m proud of him and when you see his state­ment that he’s go­ing out on his own terms, you know he’s go­ing to a great par­ent and he’s go­ing to have lots of suc­cess in his life.”

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