A Chat with NHL Referee Kerry Fraser
by: Frank Porcelli – BlackhawkZone
(BlackhawkZone.Com in Anaheim) While waiting for my plane to
board to Los Angeles on Wednesday Morning, I spent a few minutes talking hockey
with NHL referee Kerry Fraser. What follows is a summary of our conversation
I was minding my own business on Wednesday morning at the
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport waiting for my plane to Los Angeles to
begin loading. Seeing my Blackhawks hat, NHL referee Kerry Fraser came up to me
and asked if I was at the game on Tuesday Night.
Fraser was one of the two officials who worked the Blackhawks game Tuesday
Night in Phoenix. As I mentioned in my game notes, Fraser took a lot of abuse
from the crowd having to do with his perfect hairdo.
I asked Fraser if he hears the comments regarding his perfect head of hair.
Fraser replied that he does hear the comments from the crowd and laughs them off
as fans just having fun. By the way, Fraser did not have a hair out of place at
the airport. I did not ask him about his hair secrets, but with my bald head,
maybe I should have.
Fraser was on his way to Los Angeles. Fraser is working the next two Los
Angeles games, against St. Louis on Thursday night and Pittsburgh on Saturday
I asked Fraser about life on the road. Fraser likes to just lay low and live
a quiet life, unlike the three officals that I met after a game in Detroit in
two separate bars(Shane Heyer, Dan Marouelli and Troy Sartison).
Fraser told me that he is based in a suburb of Philadelphia. Fraser is lucky
enough to have a lot of teams close by Philadelphia and gets to work a lot of
Philadelphia Flyer, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and
New York Islanders games. Occassionally the NHL does send Fraser on the road,
but he stated that the NHL tries to keep the officals as close to home as
I asked Fraser if he has seen any games as a fan, he stated that he has not.
If Fraser needs tickets to an NHL game for friends or family, he has to buy them
himself with the exception of New York and Philadelphia, where they are comped
by the team.
I also asked Fraser about the Blackhawks. Fraser stated that it was a shame
that the Blackhawks fell down so much over the past few years, but was glad to
see that they inproved themselves so much this year.
Fraser was unable to give me his most memorable game that he worked, he
stated that there were so many great games that he worked it would be impossible
to name just one.
When I asked Fraser about his most memorable moment as an offical, he stated
that working his first Stanley Cup Final in 1985, all 11 Stanley Cup Finals that
he has worked, and the 1998 Winter Olympics as career highlights.
I did ask Fraser why his number 2 on his jersey is much smaller than the 22
on the back of referee Paul Stewart’s jersey. Fraser told me that Stewart’s
jersey was stolen earlier this year and that was the jersey that the NHL gave
him. Fraser jokenly said that the huge number matches Stewart’s ego.
It was nice to talk hockey with Fraser for the five minutes that we spent
talking at the gate before the plane loaded. It was something that he did not
have to do, but just reinforces the notion that when you get hockey players and
now officals off the ice, they are the nicest people in the world. It was much
appreciated by this Blackhawks fan.