Sellebration for Fisher

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Five months as a Tennessee taxpayer and Mike Fisher is still tied tightly to his roots.

“It’s 46C,” Fisher laughed Tuesday from the house he shares with wife Carrie Underwood in Nashville, about 20 minutes from his new workplace — the Bridgestone Arena. “I even converted it because I’m like, ‘I wonder what this is back home?’

“You get used to it. Whatever, 117 (F) with the humidex. The dogs don’t even want to go outside, it’s so hot.”

Funny. And funny that he’s still converting. You’re not an American yet, eh Mike?

“No, not yet,” he said. “I’ll always be a Canadian.”

A proud and very popular member of the Senators organization for 13 years before the Feb. 10 trade that made him a Predator, Fisher will be making his first return to Ottawa when he arrives Wednesday evening and goes directly to Roger’s House, where he’ll be recognized for his years as the honourary chairman of the “home away from home” for kids with cancer and their families.

Taking over Fisher’s role at the CHEO institute built in memory of late coach Roger Neilson will be longtime friend and Senators teammate Chris Neil.

“It’ll be special,” Fisher said in anticipation of the reception. “I haven’t been back to Ottawa since (the trade), so going will be a little bit strange, not being a Senator.

“It’ll be an emotional time, I’m sure. Being at Roger’s House will be special. I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure it will probably be a little bit tough, too, but it’s going to be a special night.”

Fisher is a busy man these days. He’s in the process of selling the house he and Underwood had built just off Carp Road, but were only able to live in for a couple of months.

That puts him in a long line of hockey players who have been moved by their team shortly after settling into a newly purchased home.

“I’m just kind of shopping it privately right now,” Fisher said. “It’s not on the market. I’m not listing it at this point.

“For sure (having to sell) is a drag. We spent a lot of time and effort into designing it the way you want it, but that happens. I guess it’s the curse.”

Fisher’s also getting ready for the release of his biography, written by Colorado author Kim Washburn and comes out at the end of August. Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story is targeted for kids 9-12, but no doubt will be of interest to hockey fans of all ages.

“It’s about growing up with hockey and my faith, and how it all played out,” Fisher said. “It’s about how fortunate I have been to realize a dream.”

Meanwhile, Fisher will be at his hockey school in Ottawa Thursday and Monday, then returning to Nashville for therapy on a shoulder that needed extensive surgery to fix up a week after the season. “I still can’t lift a five-pound weight,” said the 31-year old centre, who expects to be as good as new for training camp in September.

For the Predators, the end came May 9, when they were eliminated in a six-game series from the second round of the playoffs by the Vancouver Canucks. In helping Nashville to its first ever visit to Round 2, Fisher was the team’s third leading scorer in the post-season with three goals and four assists in 12 games.

“You know what, it was a lot of fun,” he said of being a Predator. “It was really strange at first. My first game, I was so nervous. It felt like my first NHL game. There’s so much expectations when you get traded ... it was a really strange, strange feeling. Everything happened so fast.

“The fans were really good and we played well to make the playoffs. We had a good run, we were really close to Vancouver. That series could have gone either way, really. It really helped the organization. The city kind of recognized hockey a little bit more. I think it was really good. Everyone’s excited about next year. I think it created a lot more new fans.

“That whole part of it was really cool, for sure.”


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