Mike Fisher has announced his retirement after a 17 year NHL career.
Fisher made the announcement in an emotional letter published in The Tennessean on Thursday. His reason for retirement is simple: God gave him peace that it was time to bring that chapter of his life to a close.
"This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I know I’ve made the right one. I’ve decided to retire from the NHL," 37-year old Fisher writes. "I kept praying for peace about the next step in my life. A peace that said this is God’s will for your future. A peace that said whether or not this was the right time to walk away. I don’t believe it came in a single instance or some aha moment, but as time passed, I gradually became certain that it was right for me to retire."
The decision came on the heels of the most successful season Fisher and his Nashville Predators team had ever been a part of. During his 7th and final year with the Predators, he led the team to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in franchise history. While the Preds came up short in the season's final game, the run was something Fisher will never forget.
"Before the playoffs even began, we, as a team, set goals we wanted to accomplish, even outside of winning the Cup," Fisher remembers."Right under that obvious one at the top of the list was to unite and inspire the city of Nashville. We put the list up in our room and looked at it each day."
Fisher recalls seeing a drone shot of the crowd gathered on the streets of Nashville prior to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final.
"I gasped. How was there that many people there? And all to support us? It was almost incomprehensible. I kept picturing that scene even as we gathered in the locker room for the game that night against the Penguins," said Fisher. "The way the city was behind us was unbelievable, and that’s what makes the memory such a high - but also bittersweet. Can you imagine if we had a parade down Broadway?"
Fisher goes on to write that it's moments like that one that he will miss, and that being so close to winning the Cup last season makes it even harder to walk away.
"Endings are always tough, but I believe when something ends, there are new beginnings, new opportunities and new things to be excited for, too."
So, what's next for Mike Fisher? More time with his wife, Carrie Underwood, and their son Isaiah.
"I’m looking forward to a future that includes a lot more time with my family. Things change when you have kids and you have a family. They’ve supported me without question, and now it’s my turn to return the favor."
To read Mike Fisher's retirement letter in it's entirety, click here.
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