OTTAWA – Senators centre Mike Fisher has agreed to a new long-term deal, but it has nothing to do with hockey.
Fisher has confirmed reports that he and country music superstar Carrie Underwood are engaged.
“Yeah, it’s true,” told reporters after the team’s practice Monday morning. “We’re both obviously excited and very happy.”
No date for the wedding has been set. The hockey heartthrob, who’s one of the team’s most popular players, began dating the former “American Idol” winner over a year ago after being introduced through a mutual friend.
Rumours of the engagement began swirling on Twitter pages and websites Sunday when a family friend of Underwood, a 26-year-old Nashville resident, tweeted a congratulations to the couple.
“It’s great. It’s a long time coming,” said Chris Neil, Fisher’s closest friend on the team. “I think there’s going to be a lot of broken hearts in Ottawa with all those girls who are in love with Mikey. . . . But he’s met a great girl.”
Fisher, a 29-year-old from Peterborough, Ont., faced a large media scrum after the players skated ahead of their game against the Boston Bruins on Monday night.
“I think you guys knew before I did,” Neil told reporters. “It came out on Twitter about 20 minutes after (Fisher’s proposal).”
Fisher would not give details of the proposal, and would only confirm that it took place a day earlier in Ottawa.
“It was an exciting time for sure,” Fisher said. “That’s all I want to say. The rest I can answer about (the game).” He also provided a bit of levity by jokingly asking, “Who are we playing?”
The rest of his teammates also got a kick out of the development.
“It’s good news,” said fellow centre Chris Kelly. “Obviously, it’s a happy day for the both of them. I wish them all the best.”
With hockey players usually quick to provide some good-natured ribbing at the expense of their teammates, Kelly’s sincerity made reporters ask if a quip was coming.
“No,” he deadpanned, “spending the rest of your life with someone isn’t a joking matter.”
Underwood, who grew up in Oklahoma, won the fourth season of “American Idol.” She has sold more 10 million albums and is the first country artist to achieve 10 No. 1 singles from her first two albums.
These are exciting times for Fisher.
He’s in the running for a spot on Canada’s men’s hockey roster for the upcoming Olympic Games in Vancouver.
With Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins also said to be under consideration for a spot, Hockey Canada representatives were expected to be keeping an eye on Monday night’s game.
“It’s Team Canada, there’s so many great players that just being considered is a huge honour,” said Bergeron, who will likely be face to face with Fisher in the faceoff circle. “He’s a great centreman, so I’ve got to make sure I’m very strong against him.”