Why Fisher trade transcends hockey in Ottawa

Thursday, February 10, 2011 · 2 comments

September 1999. Alexei Yashin decides he won't be honouring his contract and Sens management decides that a 19 year old centre will be forgoing his final year in Sudbury to take his spot. So yes, Sens fans, the most selfish player in club history helped launch the career of arguably the most selfless.

My simple take. Fisher's hefty contract expires after 2 more seasons when he'll be 33, and the chances of the Sens being a Stanley Cup contender before then are remote. This trade makes sense from a hockey standpoint.

However, after doing the show today I decided to look back on just what Mike Fisher meant to hockey fans here in the Ottawa area. Sure, they appreciated his work ethic and rugged style of play, but it's Mike Fisher the person that really made a connection.

I know Mike just from covering him over the years. We're not friends. Just two people that know each other through work. When I was hospitalized for a few weeks a number of years ago I received a card and Fisher sought me out to see how I was doing. When our friend Buzz passed away, there was Mike sending in emails to our shows supporting everyone at Team 1200.

Those are just a couple personal stories I can pass along, but I know there are litterally thousands of others scattered throughout our community. So even if the trade makes "hockey sense", that's why we received some phone calls and emails from irate fans saying they would not be renewing their season tickets. That's why Bryan Murray said he felt something in the pit of his stomach as he was finalizing the trade. I could list the many charities Fisher supported and appearances he made over the years, but this picture from 2007 (and the story behind it) pretty much sums up who Mike Fisher is and why so many fans are having a tough time letting go. All the best Mike.

Elgin Fraser with Mike Fisher

We'll see if Burke stays true

Monday, February 7, 2011 · 0 comments

In light of Phil Kessel's comments yesterday. Here's what Leafs G.M. Brian Burke offered NHL live in June 2009 when asked about the Sens and Dany Heatley:

"When you have players come ask you for a trade, I tell the players 'don't finish that sentence,' because once you ask, I'm going to move you, If a player wants out, you're darn right I'm going to move you. I'm not kissing anyone's ass to play in my town, so to hell with you, don't finish the sentence. My second rule is if I hear about this, you're not going anywhere."

"For a player to pop off and say he wants out or leak it, in my mind you are now no longer interested in your team. If you've done that you've handicapped them, you've handcuffed your GM."

"As long as you are on that team, you owe them to maximize the asset, and once you've taken that step, sorry I don't accept that."

We'll see. There could be a little spin doctoring to come today.

About this blog

Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.