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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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59