Fisher proves he's NHL worthy to
By BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun
Friday, November 5, 1999
Senators rookie centre Mike Fisher cleared the third
hurdle of his NHL career last night.
The first came last month when he played in his first
big-league game. The second was Sunday in Atlanta when
he scored his first goal.
Last night, he played his 10th NHL game, which is
a benchmark for junior-aged prospects who start the
season with a big-league club.
Even if Fisher, a 19-year-old native of Peterborough,
was sent back to his junior team today, the 10 games
in the NHL would basically count as a full professional
That has implications in pension eligibility and salary
arbitration. It also means the Senators would have to
protect Fisher in the waiver draft after the end of
If the Senators had sent Fisher back to the OHL's
Sudbury Wolves before last night's game, he wouldn't
be eligible for waivers until the end of 2001-2002.
Now he can be claimed if left unprotected at the end
of next season.
Fisher played down the 10th game significance, even
though it means he'll probably be sticking around for
"I still have to play the way I've been playing,
or even better, than in the first nine games,"
he said. "I'm happy to be here."
Fisher has four points during his first nine games
and was taking a regular shift. He was scratched from
just one game in October, after missing three with a
hip pointer injury.
"He's brought an element of speed and quickness
to our team," said coach Jacques Martin. "He's
very good on the puck and he does a very good job forechecking."
Martin said Fisher isn't being fast-tracked into the
NHL because the Sens are without centre Alexei Yashin
or depleted by injuries.
"It's not so much how we are, but what's best
for the development of his career."
The Senators appear ready to keep Fisher in Ottawa,
but the option is available to send him to the Canadian
junior team in December.
"My main priority was to make (the Senators),"
he said. "But the world junior is a pretty big
thing for sure. I've never had a chance to play for
my country before."
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