Mike Fisher -- NHL hockey player, Nashville Predators team captain and Carrie Underwood's husband -- has announced that he is retiring. He made the announcement via an op-ed in the Tennessean on Thursday (Aug. 3).

In his piece for the Tennessean, Fisher recalls his final hockey game with the Predators: Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, at Bridgestone Arena, vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. He remembers how fans' support -- specifically, the large crowd that had gathered on Broadway in downtown Nashville to watch the game -- blew him and the entire team away.

"How was there that many people there? And all to support us? It was almost incomprehensible," Fisher writes. "The way the city was behind us was unbelievable, and that’s what makes the memory such a high -- but also bittersweet. Can you imagine if we had a parade down Broadway?"

Fisher also gives thanks for being able to play professional hockey for a living, calling his job "so much fun." He notes that he will miss his teammates, coaches "and the game itself," and calls retiring "the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make."

"But I know I’ve made the right one," Fisher adds. "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 'a-ha 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."

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Although Fisher admits that he is disappointed the Predators were not able to win the Stanley Cup in 2017, he remains excited for the team's future: "I believe that this team, that this city, is going to win a championship, and I’m going to be the biggest fan," he says. "No one will be happier than I will be to see it happen, because, these fans, they deserve it."

Fisher concludes his op-ed piece by explaining that he is "looking forward to a future that includes a lot more time with my family," and expresses his gratitude toward them for supporting him throughout his career.

"Things change when you have kids and you have a family," he says. "They’ve supported me without question, and now it’s my turn to return the favor."

Throughout 17 seasons in the NHL, Fisher played a total of 1,088 games, both with the Predators and the Ottawa Senators. Fisher, 37, was traded to the Predators in 2011, after marrying Underwood in 2010; together, they have one son, Isaiah. Fisher was named team captain at the beginning of the 2016-2017 NHL season but, after the Preds lost the Stanley Cup Final in six games to the Penguins, began publicly hinting at retirement.

"Everyone wants to win in this game, no one probably more than me," Fisher told the Tennessean then. "But there's other things. At the end of the day, this is a game. It's an important part of my life, but it's not everything."

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