Mike Fisher deal a perfect fit, on and off ice

Another day, another big trade in the NHL ... and less than three weeks before the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

Mike Fisher left Ottawa for Nashville on Thursday in a significant deal that made too much sense not to happen.

The 29th-place Senators need to take drastic action, not just peripheral adjustments. The team's core has failed collectively and needs combustion. It all began in earnest Thursday with the trade of one of the most popular players in franchise history.

And there will be more to come.

For the Predators -- who, as we pointed out last Saturday, had eyes on Fisher -- it's the perfect remedy for injuries that have left them thin down the middle all season. Matthew Lombardi has missed all but two games this season with a concussion and Cal O'Reilly will be out another two months with an ankle injury.

"This trade was exactly what we needed," Preds coach Barry Trotz told ESPN.com on Thursday. "He's an outstanding fit, he can play different roles and play up and down the lineup. I love everything he brings."

Fisher is also everything "Trotz hockey" embodies: a gritty, two-way player who doesn't take shortcuts and pays attention to both ends of the ice. Yes, Trotz may have been drooling at the other end of the phone.

"I've been a Mike Fisher fan for a long time," Trotz said. "He's a good pro, he competes hard. Just the way he handles himself on and off the ice, his values ... he's just what we need."

The Preds did give up a first-round pick in the June draft, as well as a conditional second- or third-round selection in 2012. But Fisher is signed through 2012-13, so it's worth the price for a Preds team that wants to make some hay right here and now.

A bonus for the Preds: Fisher's cap hit is $4.2 million throughout his deal, but his actual salary is $4 million next season and $3 million in the final year. Not a small detail for a budget-conscious team like Nashville.

But that's just the thing. Money doesn't seem to be as much of an issue in Nashville as it was a few years ago. Let's not exaggerate things, the Preds will never spend to the cap; but local ownership has stabilized the team, attendance is up (20th in the league at a 15,906 average compared to 26th last season at 14,979) and GM David Poile had the green light to add a sizable part.

And, yes -- you knew I wouldn't ignore it -- Fisher's celebrity wife, Carrie Underwood, happens to work in Nashville.

"Obviously, it doesn't hurt that they make their home here," said Trotz.

And Thursday's initial headline on The Tennessean's website read: Predators acquire Carrie Underwood's husband


A little marketing won't hurt the hockey team, right? This trade is a perfect fit, on and off the ice.