Why Fisher trade transcends hockey in Ottawa

Thursday, February 10, 2011 ·

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


Hudson on the Rideau said...
February 11, 2011 at 8:40 AM  

Spot on Steve. It is a business but it relies on fans buying tickets. Fans want to see hockey heroes and Mike was at the top of the list. He was the heart of this team and you know what happens when you lose the heart.

Steve Lloyd said...
February 11, 2011 at 2:29 PM  

Thanks. But don't get me wrong. I do agree with the trade. I just thought it was important to acknowledge those that don't, and I can see why. This was a tough one.

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.