Mike Fisher is returning to the NHL.
The former Predators captain announced his retirement last year after leading Nashville to the Stanley Cup Final but it was not meant to be as they fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After a 17-year career, Fisher called it quits to be at home with his wife, Carrie Underwood, and his child. But on Wednesday Fisher announced that he will be returning in the not-too-distant future.
Fisher skated for the first time on Wednesday and will sign a contract once he is ready to go. The veteran will likely slot in as the fourth line center behind Ryan Johansen, Kyle Turris and Nick Bonino.
One more thing. Fisher will not return as captain. That belongs to Roman Josi.
Nathan MacKinnon will not play on Thursday as he suffered an upper body injury Tuesday against Vancouver.
Mark Scheifele has been out since December 27 with an upper body injury and while he is skating, he is still a week away from taking contact in practice. He should return by mid-February.
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TORONTO 5 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 0
It was quite a night for firsts among Toronto blueliners as Travis Dermott scored his first career goal in only his ninth game in the NHL and then defense partner Justin Holl scored in his very first game as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Islanders 5-0.
Frederik Andersen stopped 14 shots in the first two periods and another 14 in the third for his fourth shutout this season. He made a couple of unbelievable saves in the game with the one on John Tavares in the third, especially outstanding and worthy of a standing ovation.
The Leafs got things started in the first when Kasperi Kapanen (I almost wrote Sami), was credited with the first goal as it went in off the stick of rookie sensation Mathew Barzal. It was the start of a bad evening for Barzal who was a minus-four on the night.
If you are going to poke check the puck off Zach Hyman’s stick, let Thomas Greiss know that you do not put in on the stick of Auston Matthews. You are much better off trying to make the save on Hyman. After Greiss made the nice poke check, the puck went directly to Matthews whose patented wrist shot quickly found the top corner of the net and made it 2-0 Toronto after one period.
Mitch Marner made it 3-0 in the second as he scored on a nice shot from the slot. It was his eighth of the season. The rookie defensemen finished the scoring to make the final 5-0.
The Maple Leafs pummeled Greiss with 50 shots on the night. Every Leaf had a shot on net with Nikita Zaitsev the only one with one shot on goal.
Zach Hyman, William Nylander, Matthews, Dermott and Holl were all plus-three on the night. Scott Mayfield of the Islanders was also a minus-four while Nick Leddy and Jordan Eberle were each a minus-three.
Casey Cizikas had seven hits.
Ron Hainsey missed the game with the flu, enabling the Maple Leafs to call up on an emergency basis, Holl. It looks like it worked out quite well. I hope it's not another case of Wally Pipp.
WASHINGTON 5 PHILADELPHIA 3
The Philadelphia Flyers started strong but could not finish and fell to the Capitals 5-3.
Nolan Patrick potted his fourth of the season at the 1:18 mark of the first and Travis Konecny made it 2-0 at 7:50. Konecny has been amazing since moving up to the top line with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux and has goals in five straight games. He has 11 goals and 24 points in 50 games and has seven goals and 13 points in his last 14 games. Grab him if you can.
The Capitals got back into the game from an unlikely source as Chandler Stephenson scored twice in 47 seconds to tie the game at 2. Stephenson had only two goals in his first 36 games this season so the effort on Wednesday doubled his total to four.
A couple of power play goals gave the Capitals a 4-2 lead as Andre Burakovsky scored his fourth of the season to end the scoring in the second stanza and T.J. Oshie doubled the lead to two in the third with his 12th of the season.
The Capitals chased Michal Neuvirth after Smith-Pelly’s goal in the third as he gave up all five goals on a measly 20 shots. Alex Lyon took over with 10:54 left in the third and stopped all five shots he faced.
Braden Holtby picked up the win as he stopped 27-of-30 shots. It was his 26th win of the season.
DETROIT 2 SAN JOSE 1 (Shootout)
Justin Abdelkader’s shootout goal in the seventh round was the winner as the Red Wings won their 20th of the season. Only two goals were scored in the contest but seven of the 14 shots in the shootout managed to elude netminders Martin Jones and Petr Mrazek.
Both goalies were sensational during regulation and the overtime as Jones stopped 43 shots while Mrazek turned aside 30 for the win.
Mrazek boosted his record to 6-5-2 as he has played in five of the Red Wings last seven games as well as in each of the last four. On January 7, Mrazek was 3-4-1 with a 3.78 GAA and a .885 save percentage. Since then Mrazek is 3-0-1 and has given up five goals on 144 shots. He currently has a 2.86 GAA and a .910 save percentage. That’s quite a leap forward for the netminder who has struggled the last year-and-a-half.
Jones is 14-12-5 this season with a 2.66 GAA and a ,911 save percentage.
After a scoreless two periods of play, Trevor Daley opened the scoring with his fourth of the season and eighth point. Kevin Labanc tied it at 1 with his sixth of the season with 4:59 left in the third.
Brent Burns had nine shots on goal for San Jose.