NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher has retired in what he calls the hardest decision he’s had to make, leaving the defending Stanley Cup finalists in need of a new captain.
The 37-year-old Fisher said in a letter to Predators fans that “I know I’ve made the right one” in opting to retire.
Fisher had 276 goals and 309 assists in 1,088 regular-season games during an NHL career that lasted 17 seasons. He had 23 goals and 28 assists in 13 career playoff games.
He began his career with the Ottawa Senators before getting traded to Nashville in 2011.
Fisher was chosen the Predators’ captain in September 2016. He had 18 goals and 24 assists last season as Nashville earned its first Western Conference title. He’s also husband to country star Carrie Underwood, and they have a son together.
“I approached this season with the mindset that it could be my last, and now that it’s past, I’m looking forward to a future that includes a lot more time with my family,” Fisher wrote. “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.”
Underwood said in an Instagram post that she was “going to miss watching you play” but added that “Isaiah (their son) and I love you so much and are so excited to be able to have you home a lot more.”
The Tennessean first reported Fisher’s retirement.
Fisher’s last game was Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, a 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh. Fisher noted the Predators saw on TV before the game the crowd of fans in Nashville during the run the franchise made to the Stanley Cup.
“Knowing we were so close to winning it all in June only makes it more difficult to leave it behind, but I do so with hope. Endings are always tough, but I believe when something…