Even with the 2014-2015 NHL season still months away, the Nashville Predators can’t seem to stay healthy. They were already dealt a major blow on the injury front, announcing on Monday that center Mike Fisher is expected to miss from four to six months.
"Predators forward and alternate captain Mike Fisher sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon during a training session and underwent successful surgery on Thursday, July 3," said general manager David Poile in a statement. "We expect Mike to make a full recovery in four-to-six months, and look forward to his return to the ice."
Known as a strong two-way center, the 33-year-old Fisher finished fourth on the Predators in scoring last season, with 49 points in 75 games.
The injury will put additional pressure on the newly-acquired Olli Jokinen to perform. The 35-year-old Jokinen was signed to a one-year $2.5 million deal on July 2 to provide more scoring up the middle on an offensively-starved Predator team. Jokinen had 43 points in 82 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season.
“Anton provides a strong veteran presence that will complement our young, talented defensive corps nicely,” said Poile. “He is a physical, left-handed shooting defenseman who can match up with top-line forwards and effectively kill penalties.”
The 32-year-old Volchenkov had his contract bought out by the New Jersey Devils after last season. In 56 games for the Devils last season, the 220-point Russian blueliner had eight assists. He had two years remaining on his contract, worth $4.25 million per season. Volchenkov will actually receive more compensation from the buyout than he will from the Predators next season, as the Devils will pay him $1,416,667 in each of the next four seasons.
In Nashville, Volchenkov will be reunited with Fisher and forward Matt Cullen, both of whom he played with for the Ottawa Senators.
Mike Fisher is married to country music superstar Carrie Underwood.