Just as many of us were considering getting out of bed, let alone pouring our first cup of coffee, the news had already started spreading like wildfire. And just as everything else he’s done in life, Mike Fisher retired from the NHL after 17 seasons quietly, without any fanfare or “farewell tours.”
After the Stanley Cup run ended after game six during a June Nashville evening, all eyes quickly turned to Fisher and what his decision would be, considering all factors of his age and his contract expiration. In the most soft, Mike Fisher way, he simply stated, “He would take some time and pray on it.”
Fisher has always been upfront with his faith and some will most likely ask when was it that he knew. I can tell you from experience, there is no answer to that. When faced with a life-altering decision, you don’t get a voice mail or letter sent outlying the future. I wish we did.
But 13 months ago, I was faced with one of those decisions. After spending every waking moment of my life in North Texas, my wife and I started talking about the prospects of “if we were to move, where would we want to go?”
Leaving a home or a career is never easy and when you have a family, there are substantial factors to taken into consideration. Twice in his life, Mike Fisher played on the grandest stage, none closer than this past summer. With the moves the Nashville Predators made with the like of re-signing Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson and bringing in two-time Cup champion, Nick Bonino, it’s been widely accepted that the Preds had one of the best off seasons of any team, after coming off their greatest season. Surely Fish wants one more run at it…right?
No. He doesn’t because that’s not what He wants. Staying true to his personality, Mike had his prayers answered in a unique way that only he and God could understand. And in the most humble and simplest of ways, Fisher has moved on.
While the team and city scramble to decide who will be next to wear the “C,” we need to also reflect on the blessing that we have not only experienced, but will continue to experience for years to come. Make no doubt that Mike will take time away from “all of it” to enjoy his family and maybe even travel with his wife, Carrie Underwood, on her excursions for a while. But, when you’re as loved in a community as Fisher and Underwood are, and your wife happens to be one of the biggest names in country music, Nashville is destined to be your “forever home.”
Fisher will be around for a long time. Heck, he may even join the organization in some capacity down the road. He may not. But, what I’m pretty sure of is those blue eyes and smile will be a staple of Middle Tennessee for a very long time, and for that, our prayers will be answered too.