Okay, there’s no hiding it.
There’s definitely a bro-mance between Mike Fisher and Chris Neil. In a good, buddy-buddy kinda way.
As Fisher introduced Neil and wife Caitlin as the new honorary chairs of Rogers House on Wednesday, the Senators’ tough guy began to choke up.
“Knowing Mike, living with him, this being such an important piece of his life — what’s important to Mike is important to me,” said Neil, fighting off the tears. “Like Mike said, we’re like brothers, and we always will be.”
It was their first time seeing each other in five months — since the Senators dealt Fisher to Nashville.
“They’re going to do a tremendous job and they love kids,” Fisher said about the Neils. “I’m just thrilled that they’re able to do it.”
Fisher has been involved for several years with the charity, which provides a home away from home for sick kids and their families. The Sens Foundation thanked Fisher for his compassion and time spent helping out over the years.
“I feel like I’ll always be part of this community in one way or another,” said Fisher. “It’ll always be like a second home to me.”
A second home he had to leave in a hurry.
“I’ll be eternally grateful for that second chance, because when Mike got traded, he left immediately, the next day,” said president of Senators Sports Entertainment Cyril Leeder.
“I did send him a thank-you note, but wanted the opportunity to properly and formally thank him on behalf of Eugene (Melnyk) and the hockey club, and more importantly, the city because he’s done a lot of great things for the city.”
Fisher has visited a youth drop-in centre in Nashville.
“I’m trying to just — to be honest — to live in the city a little bit, see what the needs are, see what I can do in the future.”