Predators GM plans to speak with Mike Fisher about future next week

Sean Reynolds and John Shannon talk about the big moves made by Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving and the progress the team has made over the past few years.

As his team recoups from coming within two wins of the Stanley Cup, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is deciding how his team will look next season.

One decision involves whether to bring back captain Mike Fisher, who enters the off-season as an unrestricted free agent.

“I’m going to talk to him next week when I get back,” Poile told reporters after the NHL Draft in Chicago on Saturday.

Fisher had said that he was going to take some time to think about whether he wanted to return for a 19th NHL season. Fisher turned 37 earlier this month and is coming off a season where he appeared in 72 games, scoring 18 goals and 42 points.

“I love playing the game, I love being around the guys,” Fisher said at the team’s locker-room clean out. “At the end of the day, this is a game. It’s an important part of my life but it’s not everything. There’s other decisions and other people involved.

“For me it’s faith, family and then hockey.”

Poile also provided an update on some of the other things he has to address this summer. He confirmed that unrestricted free agents Vernon Fiddler and P.A. Parenteau would not be returning but did say the team was in contact with UFA Harry Zolnierczyk.

He also discussed finding a replacement for James Neal, who was claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft. Neal scored 23 goals and 41 points in 70 games last season.

Poile says he plans to talk to five or six free agent forwards when the early negotiating window opens on Sunday. But he added that the potential replacement for Neal could be one of the younger players who saw their role expand in the playoffs.

“At the end of the day we might be replacing James Neal with Kevin Fiala or Pontus Aberg,” Poile said. “There’s lots of different ways to do it.”

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