NHL legend and Nashville Predators Captain, Mike Fisher, shared with us his fondest memories on the ice and spoke about how knowing God is the ultimate.
Mike, growing up in Canada, where Hockey is so big, was it always the dream to play professionally?
Yeah ever since I was a little kid, I loved playing and I was a fan of our local junior team. I was an NHL fan and would watch all the games so it was definitely what I wanted to be when I grew up. For a lot of Canadian kids growing up it’s what they want to do, I was no different.
What do you recall of your NHL debut with Ottawa, surreal day?
Yeah my first game was in Philadelphia, playing against the likes of Eric Lindros, John Le Clair, a lot of guys who I had grown up watching. I just remember it being a bit of a blur with a lot of different emotions and I was just grateful for the opportunity. It was one of those moments that you never forget, it’s something that you dream of doing so at that point you are just taking it one game at a time, hoping you get the chance to keep playing.
Could you tell us how you came to know God for yourself?
I grew up in a Christian family and so it was an important part of our life, going to church and having a faith which was your own. At six years old I accepted Christ which was the beginning of the journey, I went through some ups and downs and I struggled in the teenage years to find my way so I made some mistakes.
I learned a lot through that, then in my early twenties I recommitted my life and got baptised at twenty-two. God really made himself clear to me in a big way, my faith became real and something that wasn’t about my family. I really made my faith my own. It was one of those big moments in my life because God was working in me which made it exciting times.
Now well established with Nashville Predators, what’s been your on-ice highlight to date?
There are a lot of them, really any play-off series wins are highlights but hopefully we can build on that this year and go even further.
How proud were you to be made Preds Captain, relish the leadership opportunity?
I was definitely honoured and there were a lot of different emotions when I knew that I’d be made captain, I never really expected it by any means, I have just been blessed to play for a long time and play in some great teams. To be named captain is a special honour that I don’t take lightly, I am looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity this year.
How do you use the platform that God has given you to point people towards him?
I try to be as real as I can about my faith, I try to be a good teammate and be the best that I can be on the ice. I love people the best way that I can and to be honest if I can make it less about me and more about him, which I fail that there’s no question, but that’s the goal. I want to let him shine through me in the best way possible and try to make a difference.
God has given me a bigger platform than I ever thought I would have and it is all because of him, what he has given me and I want to use that the best way I can. He has changed my life and I know that he can change others too so hopefully I can help with that.
Who would you say is the best player you have ever played against on the ice?
Probably Mario Lemieux, I missed Wayne Gretzky who was my favourite player but I got the chance to play against Lemieux which was pretty cool, just lining up against and him taking face-offs.
Let’s talk about fighting on the ice, as a Christian do you have any thoughts on engaging in that side of the game?
I think it is one of those things that people maybe don’t understand, about fighting and being a Christian. I look at it a lot like boxing, it’s a part of the game where you may be sticking up for teammates, I’ve never fought in my life off the ice but it’s funny, guys will be having fights and then after the game be talking to each other in the hallway afterwards saying good job. It looks bad but there is a respect level that the guys have that people don’t always see.
Away from the game you are involved with Hockey Ministries International, what motivates you to do that?
That is a great ministry that has done so many good things and helped me in my career through the chapel programme. They have done an incredible job; I love working with them and I don’t do many camps anymore but I’ve been involved with trying to help the chapel programme. There are also some things coming down the line which will be exciting that I will be helping with and I think it is great to support other athletes and to get to together. We want to help and encourage each other in our journeys.
Do you have a pre-match God time or routines that you like to go through?
I pray before every game, for the other team, our team, fans and it is just one of the things that I like to do. I try to be as grateful as I can for being able to do what I love to do and just say thank you to the Lord. I find that some time before the game is a great time to do that.