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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 ET / 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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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