Although it’s a wonderful thing when two people get married, the union can sometimes lead to problems if both parties are famous. In fact, this is what happened to former NHL star Mike Fisher and country music singer Carrie Underwood. The pair were actually living apart when Fisher received some news that changed everything. And in December 2016 the hockey player wrote a fascinating piece about it for The Players’ Tribune.
Married couple Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood are each a big draw in their respective fields. He played ice hockey for teams in Ontario and Tennessee; she’s a bestselling country music artist with seven Grammys to her name. Together, they’re a downright power couple. But they almost didn’t meet at all.
At the time, Underwood was single when her bassist, Mark Childers, offered to set her up with Fisher. But the singer was very hesitant at first. She and Fisher lived in completely different places, after all, and that would make dating difficult. Eventually, though, she decided to meet him – but only backstage at one of her concerts.
It proved to be a good decision, as the pair hit it off immediately. Yet maintaining a long distance relationship wasn’t easy. For three months, in fact, they resorted to speaking on the phone as they simply couldn’t get out to see each other. But their in-person dates always went wonderfully, and in December 2009 Fisher asked Underwood to marry him.
Come July 10, 2010, the pair said their vows in Georgia in front of 250 guests. They released a statement to People which read, “We could not feel more blessed to have found each other and to have shared this day with our friends and family that mean so much to us!” But then came the business of maintaining a long distance marriage, with Underwood in Nashville and Fisher in Ottawa.
Needless to say, maintaining a relationship while you’re living far apart from your spouse isn’t an easy job. But luckily, Fisher had some people who were doing some serious looking-out for him. He detailed their involvement in an article he wrote in 2016 entitled “One Way Ticket” for The Players’ Tribune.
It involved the business of player trading, where a hockey player goes from one team to another. Sometimes this can be difficult for the player in question, Fisher wrote. And when Fisher heard in 2011 that he was going to be traded, he was apparently initially nervous. “As a general rule of thumb in hockey, you never want the GM to pop his head into the locker room after practice and ask if he can see you for a second,” he wrote in his article.
“Bryan Murray [the GM] popped into the room and said, ‘Hey Fish, can I see you for a second?’” Fisher wrote. “I guess my heart should’ve skipped a beat because we had lost something like 11 straight, and there were rumors about me getting traded, but to be honest I had no idea what was about to happen. I followed Bryan outside the locker room, and he said, ‘Well, Fish, I’ve traded ya.’”
“When you hear those words, it’s just complete shock,” Fisher went on. “Especially in hockey, some of your teammates are like family. In the split second after he said, ‘I’ve traded ya,’ I was thinking about having to say goodbye to guys I had spent almost every single day with for 10 years — a lot of great friends and teammates.”
But it seemingly wasn’t like that. Murray apparently told Fisher he actually had some good news: Fisher was being sent to Nashville. “Oh my goodness. Talk about some life-changing words. I could have been going to 28 other cities, but I was actually going to Nashville, where I could finally be with my wife full-time,” Fisher wrote.
“Carrie and I had gotten married the previous July, and because she’s a country music singer, she has to be doing her thing in Nashville for most of the year. So we had been going back and forth between Ottawa and Nashville. As a newlywed couple, it wasn’t easy,” Fisher continued. “I knew I was incredibly blessed to be going to Nashville.”
Fisher also sang the praises of his hockey managers. “When I was packing up my stuff to go to the airport, I got a call from Eugene Melnyk, the owner of the Senators. He thanked me for my time in Ottawa, and then he said something I will never, never forget,” he wrote. “He said, ‘You know Fish, I just wanted you to be with your wife.’”
“Eugene and Bryan agreed to make sure that my destination would be Nashville. They could have traded me anywhere, but they were genuinely looking out for me and my family,” Fisher said proudly. “That’s what makes hockey such a special sport, even at the NHL level. Yes, it’s a business, but the amount of good human beings I’ve run across in this sport is just incredible.”
The move to Nashville worked out on every possible level. But unfortunately, Fisher and Underwood first had to deal with the wrath of a small minority of hockey fans. After news of Fisher’s move to Nashville got out, in fact, the Kiss 105.3 radio station in Ottawa called it “a betrayal to our community” and banned Underwood’s music from its station.
“I heard about it right away, and Carrie heard about it, and she was extremely disappointed and frustrated. I think they meant it as a joke that really wasn’t funny,” Fisher told the Vancouver Sun. “Yeah, they’re not a country music station, and I don’t know if it was for attention or not, but obviously Carrie had nothing to do with the move or the trade or anything so to imply something like that was just wrong.”
Luckily, everything reportedly went swimmingly from then on. On February 27, 2015 – four years after Fisher moved to Nashville – Underwood and Fisher had their first child. This was a little boy named Isaiah Michael Fisher. Underwood announced the birth on her Twitter account. “Tiny hands and tiny feet… God has blessed us with an amazing gift!” she wrote.
In his “One Way Ticket” article, Fisher made sure to mention his son too. “Being in a stable situation in Nashville allowed Carrie and I to start our own family. Our son, Isaiah, was born last February,” he wrote. “He doesn’t really understand what Daddy does yet, but if my good friend Matt Cullen’s kids are any indication, he’s going to be a huge hockey fan.”
Fisher credited Melnyk and Murray for his being able to settle down with a family, but as a Christian he also credited God. He wrote in his article that at the time where he was struggling most, he heard his mother say, “Maybe this is the Lord’s way of having Mike traded to Nashville so he can be with Carrie.”
“I know God was looking out for me that day, and sometimes He uses good people like Eugene and Bryan to carry out His plans. So I’ll just take the time now to thank all three of them for the one-way ticket,” Fisher said in conclusion to his piece. But there was actually more good news to come for him and Underwood.
Yes, in August 2018 Underwood announced to the world that she was pregnant again. This must have been especially welcome given what she revealed the following month. In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning in September, she disclosed that she’d suffered three miscarriages in little over a year. Evidently, Underwood’s life and marriage has been full of ups and downs. But now she and Fisher seem to be well on their way to happiness and the family they’ve dreamed of.