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Fraser changes stripes with turn as author

Ref legend packs 30 years of experience into new book

Wednesday, 11.24.2010 / 7:50 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Fraser changes stripes with turn as author
Fraser in his final game.
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Kerry Fraser saw it all during his 30-year career as an NHL referee, including some of the greatest moments in Devils history.

After patrolling the ice in more than 2,000 NHL contests, Fraser has shared his best stories in his new book The Final Call: Hockey Stories from a Legend in Stripes.

“It’s a behind-the-scenes, insider look,” Fraser said Wednesday before the Devils hosted Calgary. “It takes them to the ice, behind the glass with great stories. It’s funny, it’s human. There’s a lot of emotion in it.”

Fraser's final regular-season game was last year's shootout finale between the Rangers and Flyers. His 288-pager features something for everyone, especially Devils fans. 

“The Jersey chapter is about the team moving from Colorado and me seeing them from the very beginning, not very good, becoming very good through drafting of players,” Fraser explained.

Fraser worked the 1988 regular-season finale at Chicago, when John MacLean’s overtime goal put the Devils into the playoffs for the first time. That sparked a run to the conference final against the Bruins.

“It’s a rough game and [Jim] Schoenfeld really turns them loose,” Fraser said, recalling Game 2. “Two fights were going at one time. Moe Lemay had run into Sean Burke in the crease, so the cavalry came. Over on the one side, Perry Anderson was about to fight with Willi Plett, so one linesman is between them.

“[Linesman] Gerard Gauthier is between Lemay and John MacLean who came to him because he ran into Burke. So I came in just at the end because I didn’t want them to fight. Just as I came in, MacLean unloads a left, got me right between the eyes. Staggered me. I grab on to Lemay and I was ticked. He didn’t knock me down. So I said where MacLean was a prolific scorer – he had great hands – fortunately he wasn’t very tough because I took his best shot.”

Fraser also witnessed the devastating power of Scott Stevens’ hit on Eric Lindros in Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals.

“I can see it now,” he said. “The one thing that I’ve been blessed with is great memory, but also emotional recall. I can pull back that emotion of the moment.”

But the pinnacle for many Devils fans is the 1995 Stanley Cup sweep of Detroit. As he tells in the book, Fraser felt that year's team was one of destiny.

“The Detroit [series], I knew that Detroit wasn’t ready. They were happy to get there. It takes something special to know how to win,” he said.

One thing’s certain: even the diehard fan is guaranteed to learn a thing or two.

“Beat writers that have been with teams since I came into the League have read it and they’ve said, ‘I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that. I should have known that happened,” Fraser said.
 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51