34-Year-Old Center – Nashville Predators
Mike Fisher Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $8.4 million contract with the Predators in August of 2012.
Fisher (Achilles) was on the ice for practice Tuesday, Eric Stromgren of The Tennessean reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Fisher finished last season with a respectable 21 points in 38 games last season, tying him for third in team scoring despite missing 10 games to a hand injury. This year, Fisher is a virtual lock to open the season as the Preds' top-line center once again, however this does not make him a top-tier fantasy option by any stretch. The Preds are a below-average team offensively who depend on goaltending and defense to win games and at 33 years old, Fisher is not likely to have a breakout campaign at this stage of his career. He should finish the season somewhere in the 45 to 50 point range, assuming he can stay healthy.
With 51 points in 72 games last season, Fisher was just two points shy of the career-high 53 points he scored in 2009-10 with Ottawa. After playing as more of a defensive forward with the Sens, Fisher has really discovered his scoring touch and has become a key cog in the Preds' offense, centering the team's first line with Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat. Looking ahead, he will be given every opportunity to build on last yearís success.
After spending 10 full seasons in Ottawa, the Sens dealt Fisher to the Predators in exchange for draft picks in February 2011. With injuries to pivots Matthew Lombardi, David Legwand and Cal O'Reilly, Fisher was expected to immediately step into the lineup and center the Preds' top line, as well as provide some veteran leadership. Over the next 55 games, Fisher went on to score 14 goals and 10 assists, well below his usual level of productivity and career-high of 53 points in 79 games the previous season. Not to mention, Fisher struggled defensively with his new team as evidenced by an ugly plus-minus rating of -19. Looking ahead, Fisher will be called upon once again to center one of the Preds' top two lines, a role he has not excelled at over his career. Furthermore, the Preds are not exactly a top-tier offensive club, so he doesn't have an abundance of talent surrounding him. A 40-45 point season is probably a reasonable expectation for him, assuming offseason shoulder surgery doesn't lead to complications.
Fisher will center Ottawa's second line and likely have Alex Kovalev and Milan Michalek as his wingers to begin the 2010-11 season. Last year's 53 points, including 25 goals, were both career highs for the 30-year-old center. He should be able to hit close to those numbers this year, but don't expect much more. Fisher is a rough-and-tumble player and that type of play can take its toll on the body, especially in the second half of the season. He scored 41 of his 53 points in his first 54 games last season, but only registered 12 points in his last 25 games.
Fisher will likely start the season as Ottawa's second line center and should put up between 40-50 points with 20 goals a possibility. Keep in mind that Fisher's style of play takes a toll on his body and he's always an injury concern.
Don't expect gaudy numbers from one of Ottawa's grittiest players. Fisher plays an up-and-down, crash-and-bang game, which takes quite the toll on his body. While he played in 79 games last year - a career high - he's missed an average of 19.4 games a year over the past five years. If he can stay healthy for a full season, Fisher could put up between 50-60 points, and he will get time on the second power-play unit, but his history of injuries should cause some hesitation.
Fisher will once again be Ottawa's second line center and should have Daniel Alfredsson as one of his wingers. Fisher will see plenty of time on Ottawa's second power play unit and, if he stays relatively healthy, could break through the 50 point barrier for the first time. As he'll be entering unrestricted free agency at the end of this season, Fisher will have all the motivation he needs to put up strong numbers.
The 26-year old center, when healthy, is one of the most effective players on the Senators roster. If he can remain healthy this year, Fisher could put up close to 30 goals and 60 points. Expect him to see a lot of ice time killing penalties and providing an offensive boost to the third line which he'll likely center at even-strength.
Fisher won't score more than 40 points as Ottawa's checking line center. He's a good young talent but his right winger is Chris Neil. 'Nuff said.