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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.
 

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 70 16 25 -3 41
M. Cammalleri 63 27 13 3 40
P. Elias 64 11 21 -16 32
S. Gomez 53 7 24 -8 31
S. Bernier 62 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 69 11 12 -4 23
A. Larsson 59 3 20 3 23
A. Greene 77 3 18 2 21
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 57 6 12 -3 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 28 9 .927 2.20
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47