By John Smith (@John_Smith426)
The unfortunate thing that happens to our favorite NHL players as they age into their late 30′s, is the inevitable downfall of their play. Yet, while Mike Fisher hasn’t quite reached the point where he looks lost, a big case can be made for how he has played at even strength this year.
The good thing about having a player like Fisher is you can deploy him in just about every situation you get into. While he is still a solid defensive minded center, Fisher has definitely seen a downfall in his play. So far this year Fisher has only has 19 of his 41 points coming at 5 on 5. For years and years while on the powerplay, Nashville had one guy they tried to get the puck to in Shea Weber. In his departure Mike Fisher currently leads the team in goals (6), and is second in points (16) while the Predators are on the man advantage.
Mike Fisher would be an ideal fourth-line center in the NHL right now. He can provide leadership, he can move up and down in the lineup if needed, and can be a key player on both special teams units. We talk all the time about how centers are valued, and having Mike Fisher on your fourth-line would show incredible depth. Are you really excited about seeing Vern Fiddler in the playoffs?
Next year Mike Fisher is going to be up for a new contract, and he’s not going to play anywhere else. If the Predators could get him on a team-friendly contract I think everyone would win. Fisher would be able to play on a cup contender, and it would allow us to pay Ryan Johansen and breakout player of the year candidate Viktor Arvidsson.
For the rest of this season I think you kind of have to go with some form of center combo of Sissons/Jarnkrok/Fisher behind Johansen. At this point I do not believe Fiddler has a place in the lineup considering everyone is heathy. Then, this summer David Poile has to get his second center spot figured out. You saw what a boost to Craig Smith’s game he has gotten out of his healthy scratch and change of centerman.