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Veteran center Mike Fisher announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday after 17 seasons in the league. 

The 37-year-old Canadian made the news official with a special column for the Tennessean.

In the column, Fisher wrote the following about his decision to retire on the heels of helping lead the Nashville Predators to the Stanley Cup Final last season:

“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I know I’ve made the right one. I’ve decided to retire from the NHL.

“I kept praying for peace about the next step in my life. A peace that said this is God’s will for your future. A peace that said whether or not this was the right time to walk away.

“I don’t believe it came in a single instance or some aha moment, but as time passed, I gradually became certain that it was right for me to retire. I believe God gave me the ability to play hockey, and I was helped by dozens of individuals along the way, so it’s not just up to me on when it’s time to say goodbye.”

Fisher played for the Ottawa Senators from the 1999-2000 campaign to the 2010-11 season, when they then traded him to the Predators. He played for Nashville ever since and proved his durability even at age 36 in 2016-17 when he appeared in 72 games and notched 42 points on 18 goals and 24 assists.

He will go out in impressive fashion considering it was his highest point total in three seasons.

In all, Fisher posted 585 points in his career on 276 goals and 309 assists, with seven seasons with more than 40 points as a consistent playmaker. However, his value went beyond scoring as a two-way forward who played solid defense and could be used in special-teams situations either killing the penalty or on a power play.

Fisher could have brought veteran leadership to Nashville or another team in 2017-18 with 134 postseason games on his resume, but he elected to retire after the Predators’ deep playoff run.

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