Mike Fisher is well known for his hard-nosed style of play, but he's also always been seen as a kind and generous individual, and today the NHL officially recognized his efforts as he was nominated for the 2012 NHL Foundation Foundation Player Award, presented to "an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey -- commitment, perseverance and teamwork -- to enrich the lives of people in his community."
In addition to Fisher, Toronto's John-Michael Liles and the New York Islanders' Matt Moulson were named nominees.
The winner of the award will be announced at the 2012 NHL Awards Show, June 20 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, with the winning player receiving $25,000 to donate to their chosen charitable organization.
"It's a great honor," said Fisher. "That award, to me, means more than any other award. It's something that a lot of other guys in the league do and do so many good things, so to be recognized with some of those guys is pretty cool."
From the time Fisher entered the league he has made it his mandate to help those in need. While a member of the Ottawa Senators Fisher was actively involved with Roger's House, a charity named in honour of the late Roger Neilson who was a close friend of Fisher's. When Fisher was traded to the Nashville Predators the city of Ottawa was devastated to lose a player of Fisher's character.
Fisher has been just as busy since arriving in Nashville in 2011.
Fisher has developed strong relationships with a number of non-profit organizations: Room In the Inn, a full-service homeless facility located a few blocks from Bridgestone Arena; Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt; and Cottage Cove Urban Ministries, a Nashville based non-profit organization that serves inner-city youth.
In addition Fisher donated $40,000 to Cottage Cove to purchase a van for the youth center and renovate their music room. He's also purchased tickets for the Fisher's Friends ticket program for youth organizations. In September 2011, Fisher released the book, "Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story," geared toward children ages 9-11 that highlights his faith journey, with all sales benefitting World Vision, and autographed copies sold at Bridgestone Arena raising money for Room In the Inn.
Fisher and his wife also are seen at various charity fundraisers in the Middle Tennessee area, including events for The Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's and Rocketown, and he is an annual participant in the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation program.
Fisher has touched the hearts of countless with his generosity and while many of his efforts have been made public there are countless others that go unknown and unrecognized.