Fisher holds out hope

Senators centre Mike Fisher says he has offers to play in Europe if the entire NHL season is...

Senators centre Mike Fisher says he has offers to play in Europe if the entire NHL season is cancelled. (Sun file photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

Mike Fisher is going to hunt deer next week, then he'll start hunting for a job.

With the 4-on-4 Original Stars Hockey League all but dead, players have returned home and they're not expecting any more games to be scheduled.

That means guys like Fisher, the Senators centre, along with teammates Chris Neil, Todd White and Dominik Hasek are going to have to look elsewhere if they're going to stay in game shape in case there's an NHL season.

Fisher's hopeful a new collective bargaining agreement will be put in place before the end of December, so he's going resist a couple of offers from European teams until the season is officially cancelled.

"I've got a lot of options and right now I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do," said Fisher, who was returning to his Peterborough home yesterday. "I've got the option to play overseas and a friend of mine is considering some exhibition games with NHL players (in the U.S.). Right now, I'll just be patient.

REMAINS 'OPTIMISTIC'

"My agent (Todd Reynolds) has spoken with teams in Switzerland and Italy, which means those are both possibilities. But I'm still optimistic that something could get done so that we can get back to playing (in the NHL) this year. Those opportunities in Europe can probably wait until something is decided here."

And what about Hasek? He has played only 14 games in the last two years and needs to get playing time. There has been talk Hasek, who worked out with the 67's this week, could end up playing a few games with an East Coast league team, but even his agent, Ritch Winter, isn't certain what's next.

"He's just in Ottawa hanging out. There's not much else to say there," said Winter.

Though White could probably stay in shape by skating with the Gee-Gees or 67's, Neil has returned to his home in Flesherton to see if there's going to be a resolution.

NEIL OFF TO DURHAM

Neil said he plans to skate with the Senior "A" League's Durham Thundercats for the next few weeks and if there's no resolution, he'll probably start playing games with the club. Nashville's Scott Walker and Dallas' Todd Harvey recently started suiting up for the league's Cambridge entry.

"That's an option, but it's not worth risking injury right now just to play games," said Neil. "The OSHL probably could have worked, but it just didn't seem like the timing was right. It's important for me to keep skating and staying in shape. I'm going to be on the ice as much as I possibly can to stay ready. Hopefully, there's going to be some kind of deal."


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