Fisher a true professional
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.”