Is Signing Mike Fisher A Good Idea?


The Nashville Predators announced a new signing of an old facial area. Mike Fisher in making his return to the Tunes Town, and it’s not particularly a fantastic transfer.

The Central Division is the moment again the Thunderdome and groups are loading up. The St. Louis Blues are on the lookout at Mike Hoffman, the Stars are on the lookout at Rick Nash, and the Nashville Predators built the initial transfer by signing… Mike Fisher. In his very last time, the 37-12 months-old amassed 18 plans and 42 factors in 72 games as the Predators’ second line center. A fantastic time, but factors received even worse as the time went on. By the second round of the playoffs, Fisher was huffing and puffing immediately after each and every shift, and the concussion he received courtesy of the Anaheim Ducks didn’t particularly make factors simpler. Soon after the Penguins lifted the Stanley Cup, Fisher resolved to cling ’em up and seemingly rode off into the sunset, by no means to be listened to from again.

Nicely about six months later on, Fisher and the Nashville Predators built the announcement that the old captain was making his return. So with all of the excitement buzzing, let us get a somber moment to know that this signing is not a lot a lot more than admirer services.

Mike Fisher, Nashville Predators, NHL

Fisher knowledgeable all the ups and downs of staying portion of the Nashville Predators. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Is Mike Fisher All set?

Here’s in which things start to get a minimal little bit messy. At initial, I considered it was a prepared transfer in which Fisher would get his time to get better and make his return when he felt ready. Sooner or later, information broke that standard manager David Poile had to coax Fisher out of retirement. As a lot more information surfaced, Fisher admitted he was not particularly working out all that generally and had only skated the moment considering that retiring, at the Senators’ alumni match.

I’m not expressing that a 37-12 months-old cannot engage in in today’s NHL immediately after getting just about eight months off, but it’s a little bit of a stretch. Specially contemplating that the Predators will be thrusting Fisher into a defensive bottom-six position, in which he’ll possible be billed with shutting down a second line. This will not be an easy process as youthful, similarly expert gamers like Calle Jarnkrok and Nick Bonino have attempted to do so night in and night out. This qualified prospects me to the largest question of Mike Fisher’s return – who does he substitute?

Who Are the Candidates?

Let’s get one particular point straight, the best 9 will not be touched as extended as the damage bug doesn’t rear its unattractive head. That leaves the fourth line, which is made up of Miikka Salomaki, Austin Watson, and Colton Sissons. Fisher is a right-handed center but may perhaps be compelled to engage in wing in the early parts of his arrival. Head coach Peter Laviolette enjoys to have symmetry between his strains in which a left-handed shot is on the left wing and a right-handed shot is on the right wing.

This bodes very well for Salomaki who’s a lefty. Other than that, Salomaki is one particular of the grittiest gamers on the group. He forechecks with a special ferocity and by no means gives up on the decide. He’s one particular of the significant factors why the fourth line is so fantastic at maintaining offensive zone possession. Salomaki’s offensive totals aren’t good, but 7 factors in 38 games are appropriate when you think about that all have arrive at even toughness and he starts in the defensive zone 34.3% of the time.

Regardless of this deficiency of shelter, he nevertheless maintains a 51.21% Fenwick and helps the Predators deliver a lot more than 55% of the high hazard odds even though he’s on the ice. He’s an fantastic shot suppressor and a first rate offensive player. His finest toughness is his capacity to get the puck out of his defensive zone.

Miikka Salomaki Predators

Miikka Salomaki, Nashville Predators Oct. 19, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Austin Watson is really comparable to Salomaki in that he’s a gritty winger who excels in the defensive zone. These two are the finest shutdown wingers on the group, and possibly in the Central Division, also. Watson is a little bit better in the offensive zone, while he also has 7 factors in 51 games. His possession stats aren’t particularly stellar, but he suffers comparable zone starts to Salomaki.

The largest difficulty for Watson, in my view, is that the Predators only manage 46% of the high hazard odds even though he’s on the ice. What the innovative stats never convey to you is that Watson is the finest penalty killer on the group and is made use of exclusively in defensive scenarios. He also fights, and even though I believe combating is not vital in today’s NHL, having an “enforcer” who can engage in fantastic hockey is a bonus.

Then there’s Colton Sissons. The center of the trio is having a better offensive time, but sees substantial electric power engage in time. So significantly, Sissons has 18 factors in 52 games with 10 at 5-on-5. Sissons is a really common player, with a 50.9% Fenwick in spite of setting up in the defensive zone 34% of the time. He suffers the exact challenges as Watson as the Predators get crushed at high hazard odds when he’s in the match. In my view, Sissons is a lukewarm player who may perhaps not deliver also a lot to the desk, but is significantly from a hindrance.

Who’s Out?

Figuring out anything we know about Laviolette and the stats, Salomaki should really be safe and sound. Though Sissons has a lot more of an offensive effects than Watson, it has a lot more to do with his electric power engage in time. Watson contributes a lot more with fewer and is a better defensive player, plus his penalty killing is the finest on the Predators. That leaves Sissons.

Now that we’ve singled out Sissons as the most possible player to be changed by Fisher, let us look at the quantities.

Sissons vs Fisher

Comparing people today 12 months by 12 months is tricky mainly because there are some qualifiers. So significantly, Sissons has performed 20 less games than Fisher did and performed about five minutes fewer per match. So, in buy to combat this, let us use percentages. Examine out the nifty chart below. For reference, I’m using unblocked shot tries (Fenwick), high hazard prospect share (HDC%), target share, and offensive zone get started share.

Fisher chart

Just from a swift glimpse higher than, it appears to be like like Fisher has Sissons conquer, but let us add some context. Fisher had better gamers on his wings, most notably James Neal, even though Sissons is made use of in a fewer offensive position with a lot more defensive gamers. Even though Fisher was not sheltered by any meaning of the term, Sissons has labored with fewer. My beloved locate of all of this was that the two performed the vast majority of their time in opposition to second and 3rd line expertise, in spite of staying on the “second” and “fourth” strains.

Colton Sissons Predators

Colton Sissons, Nashville Predators Oct. 19, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The one particular point I maintain coming back to though is the high hazard share. Fisher beats him by just less than 10%. Here’s in which speculation makes an entrance. I never believe Fisher could do any better participating in in the exact scenarios as Sissons. Fisher is a better offensive player, but that won’t be his position.

Is This a Fantastic Signing?

Pretty merely, this transfer is just admirer services to deliver back a Nashville legend for one particular very last journey. He’s not an enhancement more than any player and I actually never believe he’s an enhancement more than guys like Frederick Gaudreau or Emil Pettersson, who are toiling absent in the minors.

The only way to convey to how this will do the job out is to see how Fisher performs. I’m not thrilled about it and I never truly obtain into the intangibility argument. I never believe this brings the Predators any nearer to the Cup, and if just about anything, it could possibly really hinder them if Fisher performs also a lot.

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