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Mike Fisher: Le mot de la fin

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm glad he's gone. He wasn't a bad player, but he was never going to be what fans and the club both wanted and needed. Initial reaction to the deal? Sure, that'll do. Talk to me after a) the picks develop or b) they're flipped for something more immediate (and no, while it may not happen this year, it's not out of the realm of possibility).

Anything left to say can be revisited in this post from October 2008. Not being a fan of Mike Fisher was highly taboo for the longest time. This was around the time when a few Senators fans finally started to get it.

Enjoy and have a good weekend.


From "Monday morning Deglaze" - October 6, 2008

Sure, the regular season has started, but a lot of the talk has focused on players not hitting the ice -- case in point, Mike Fisher. No. 12 was recently thrust into the spotlight, due to the fact that his 6-million dollar groin (or "groan", as Rome would say) is acting up again. Fisher did not play in either game versus the Penguins in Sweden, and questions abound regarding the centre's off-season conditioning and overall durability.

It's a very curious thing to see fans suddenly question and criticize Mike Fisher. I say that because, well...privately, I've been doing it for years. To me, Mike Fisher is like There's Something About Mary. Remember when that movie came out? It was a fairly unassuming flick when it hit the theatres, but everyone seemingly went nuts over it. At the time, my friends were driving me crazy, telling me to go check it out. Here's what happened:

Friends: "So? What did you think? Wasn't it the best thing ever?"

Me: (looking at ground)

Friends: "Well?"

Me: "Uh...well...I don't get what the big deal is. I don't get it."

Friends: "WHAT?!? Best. Thing. Ever. What's wrong with you?"

Me: (getting defensive) "I dunno...I guess some parts of it were all right...I just don't understand why everyone loves it so much."

Friends: "Blaaargh!!! Rage...RAAAAAGE!"

Things get a bit hazy at this point. I think someone took off one of their Vans and threw it at me.

Eventually I just began to lie and said I liked it, because I was tired of having people freak out on me.

And that's what it's like to be a non-fan of Mike Fisher -- at least until recently. I had to to express my feelings covertly, during whispered conversations at the Starbucks on Hazeldean. I had to smile and nod my head in silent agreement when everyone insisted he should be the next captain of the team. I had to pretend to understand why every woman (and Don Cherry, apparently) fawns over his blue eyes and chiseled cheekbones.

I didn't get it. I never did. And now I'm mad at myself for not speaking up, because people are finally beginning to see things the way I always have.

Fisher was the one player I couldn't bring myself to properly torch in the column, and it made me bloody crazy. I'd pace in my office, willing myself to openly question his worth. He has yet to break the 50-point plateau, and he's 28 years old. Barring a miracle, it seems pretty obvious that he's peaked. The Senators paid him like a second-line centre (his front-loaded, 5-year, $21-million contract kicks in this season), but he's not capable of playing that role. A lot of that money is paying for the intangibles that No. 12 offers..and that's where the problem lies.

The good guy image. The heart. The grit. The never-say-die mentality. Sens fans have been flat-out obsessed with the qualities Fisher brings to the table, and that's what makes it so freaking hard to get on his case. Don't believe me? Consider this: In the four years that the column ran, I got flack from the Sens front office about my off-the-cuff criticism of one player. Guess who that player was? They never defended anyone else...and frankly, I leveled my guns at pretty much everyone on that team (including Daniel Alfredsson).

Here's the thing: I understand that he's a valuable player from a defensive standpoint. I respect his willingness to play hard. I get that he's a good person. I get that part, okay?

But he's not a deity, and he's not a second-line centre that will ever be worth 6-million dollars. He may not even be a captain -- that spare "A" was obviously emblazoned on Heatley's chest for a reason.

News flash: It's Mike Fisher. Stop looking for something that isn't there. He's physically fragile, offensively limited and his career has nowhere to go but down. Thank God people are finally beginning to understand that.

Question of the night

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Super simple, just answer in the comments:

If you're a Senators fan, what do you get out of watching this season's games, particularly when the team appears to be at its lowest ebb? Please be honest - I'm not looking for humour or sarcasm here.