Senators send Fisher to Predators

Mike Fisher is leaving the only NHL club he has ever played for, the Ottawa Senators, after a deal Thursday that sends the veteran centre to the Nashville Predators.

Mike Fisher is leaving the only NHL club he has ever played for, the Ottawa Senators, after a deal Thursday sent the veteran centre to the Nashville Predators.

Fisher, 30, was traded Thursday in exchange for Nashville's first-round pick in the June entry draft, as well as a conditional draft pick in 2012. The transaction was announced via Nashville's official Twitter feed.

The conditional pick will be a second- or third-round selection, depending on Nashville's post-season success. If they win one round in the playoffs this year, the Senators will be receiving the Predators' third-round selection, while if Nashville wins two or more rounds, Ottawa receives a second-round pick.

Fisher has scored 153 goals and 171 assists and 521 penalty minutes in 620 NHL games with Ottawa. He has a home in Tennessee with his wife, country music star Carrie Underwood.

"It’s a tough trade for us," Senators general manager Bryan Murray told reporters in Ottawa. "We know he’s been a good veteran here and he’s very popular with the fans but as we start to rebuild this hockey team and follow a plan that we’ve set out, we thought that it was the right place for him, it gives us some assets going forward, it frees up dollars obviously over the next few years and it gives us a chance to at least start he process of making this hockey team a good hockey team in the future."

The Peterborough, Ont., native was selected in the second round of the 1998 entry draft by the Senators after playing junior hockey with the Sudbury Wolves.

He was in the NHL 18 months later, and was nominated for a Selke Trophy as top defensive forward in 2005-06. His best statistical season came in 2009-10, when he scored 25 goals and added 28 assists.

Fisher was tied for the team lead with 14 goals in 55 games this season, with 10 assists and a minus-19 rating.

"They're a very good team, and it'll be kind of like going home for me," Fisher told the Senators' website. "I'm sure my wife won't be disappointed, either. But I think it's a great place for me and family and everything."

It could be the first of mutliple moves for Ottawa, which has plummeted in the Eastern Conference standings since December and spent close to the salary cap for this season.

Fisher will head to a playoff contender that's defensively sound, but sometimes struggles for offence.

"We were seeking a top-six forward and Mike Fisher was the player we set our sights on," Nashville general manager David Poile said in a statement. "He plays playoff-style hockey all season long. He plays on the power play, kills penalties, is strong on draws and can match up against any opposing line."

The Senators signed Fisher to a $21-million US contract extension just weeks after the team reached the Stanley Cup final in 2007. The deal runs through the 2012-13 season.