Back in my pre-buttergut days, before I discovered the twin temptresses of beer and bacon, I played minor hockey, football and high school basketball (by “played” basketball, I mean “sat on the bench and waved a towel in an excited and inspirational fashion until the coach put me in at the end of a blowout”) and on every team I’ve ever been on, there’s always one. One guy who may not be the most talented player or whose contributions won’t always show up on a stat sheet, but a guy without whom you have absolutely no chance of winning anything. One of my football coaches called them “spoon guys”.
Thankfully for us, we didn’t attend a Catholic school, and therefore, the turn of phrase caused no undo alarm. Coach’s basic point was that every successful team had on it a player, who when handed a teaspoon and told to dig a hole through a brick wall, would salute smartly and have at it, bug-eyed and foaming at the mouth, until either the hole was duly dug, or the player died in the attempt, his spoon-hand nothing but a mangled, pulpy mass.
Since his rookie days as a Senator, Mike Fisher has been that guy. And he will be That Guy for the Senators until 2012.
It looks as though Mike Fisher won't be going anywhere for a while. Fisher has signed a five-year, $21 million extension with the
Senators. He will earn $1.5 million this season. Ottawa
Fisher scored 22 goals and dished out 26 assists in 68 games with the Senators last year. In 384 career NHL games Fisher has totals of 92 goals and 100 assists and a +49 rating.
Now, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve always had a bit of a man-crush on Fish and I was getting mighty nervous at the thought that we’d lose him for nothing or worse, traded for yet another Russian pansy and a case of Metamucil (hello Mucks) as free agency loomed. I was terrified that the Senators wouldn’t recognize how valuable a guy who goes 100mph in every shift of every game really was to the team, regardless of his point totals. Thank Christ I was wrong, and like Alfie before him, we can safely call Mike Fisher a Senator for life while the Leafs die a little more inside.
There will be a night, ten to fifteen years from now, when the number 12 will be lifted to the rafters of Scotiabank Place (or whatever the hell it’s called by then) to take its rightful place beside Alfie’s number 11 and the 8 of Frank Finnigan.
If you’re there, look for me. I won’t be hard to find. I’ll be the idiot holding up the spoon.
Senators Sign Fisher To Extension [TSN.ca]