Predators make Mike Fisher signing official, bolster center depth

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Nearly a month after his surprise return, the Nashville Predators officially announced that Mike Fisher has a signed a deal for the remainder of the season with a pro-rated $1 million salary.

The 37-year-old Fisher retired over the summer after 17 seasons in the NHL to spend more time with his family. When he decided to make a return he needed to sign a contract with the Predators by Monday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline in order to be eligible for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“I really didn’t think I was going to do it, to be honest,” Fisher said during the press conference last month announcing his return. “It was pretty much a no, but as it got closer and then I had some other conversations, that turned (into) a yes.”

Fisher never stopped watching Predators games while enjoying retirement and that’s when he started getting the itch. His wife, singer Carrie Underwood, kept asking him what he was going to do. “She wanted me to do it. She’s usually right,” he said.

This acquisiton at the trade deadline gives the Predators more depth down the middle. There’s Ryan Johansen, Kyle Turris, Nick Bonino, Colton Sissons and Calle Jarnkrok all being options for Peter Laviolette at center, with possibilities for the wing as well. They saw how important it is to have capable bodies in that position during the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

“I just thought about the opportunity, how good this team is,” Fisher said. “Thought a lot about the run last year and what could be. … The closer I got towards it, the (more) I thought it would be such a great opportunity. … I’m ready for it.”

MORE: Pro Hockey Talk 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.