Friday, April 9, 2010

A fond farewell to the retiring Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser
Unfortunately, he found a pulse
After 30 years and over 1,900 games, this Sunday's Flyers/Rangers tilt will mark the final game of longtime NHL referee Kerry Fraser's career.

OK, OK, I know where you think I'm going with this. After all, Fraser's infamous missed call on Wayne Gretzky's high-stick arguably cost the Leafs a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals, and many fans have never forgiven him. I may even have mentioned it once or twice.

But whatever you may think about that incident, the fact remains that it was one call in long career. So rather than go the predictable route and use the occasion as one last chance to pile cheap shots on the poor guy, I'm going to take the high road and focus on the positive.

So in that spirit, I invite you to join me in celebrating a successful career with this list of Good Things About Kerry Fraser.

  • Was an independent spirit, and not some weak-kneed conformist who made all his difficult decisions based on what's written down in some sort of "rule book".

  • Taught you at an early age that life is unfair, justice is a myth, and that we live in a cold and uncaring universe that will feed you small morsels of hope only to crush and mock you -- all of which most people don't get to find out until they're much older.

  • Is often unfairly referred to as "evil", which theologians will tell you is not only inaccurate but actually impossible as it implies the presence of a soul.

  • Scientists researching the effects of severe head injuries say that the comment section of the Gretzky/Gilmour youtube video has proven to be an invaluable resource in locating victims of undiagnosed brain trauma.

  • Had a distinctive hair style, which would have no doubt spawned countless hilarious jokes from the media if only they had ever noticed it.

  • Always dealt graciously with criticism; in fact, you could give him the finger right in front of his face and he would just stand there as if he didn't even see it.

  • By helping the Kings make it to the 1993 Conference Finals, he was at least partially responsible for the subsequent wave of expansion into southern American markets. And look how great that's worked out!

  • If you were going to compile a list of best top red-headed sports officials of all time, you could make a pretty strong case for him being in the Top 100.

  • As best anyone can tell, probably had nothing to do with the writing or recording of "Free to Be".

  • By forcing Marty McSorley to use a stick with less curve, was indirectly responsible for the delivery of serious blunt force trauma to Donald Brashear's head.

  • Has gone over ten years without screwing over any members of the Hartford Whalers.

  • Certainly disproved that whole "vertical stripes make you look taller" myth.

  • He's pretty much the last active NHLer who remembers what it's like to participate in a meaningful Leafs playoff game.


  1. Don't feel bad, Leafs fans. I know you don't like Mario, and Fraser spent his whole insipid career screwing the Big Guy. He did it more often than any ref not named Marouelli. And they're both retiring. What a grand and glorious day for hockey.

  2. ... and Alain Côté's goal was good.

  3. @Mike Adams

    I can't speak for the rest of Leafs fans, but I loved Mario. When he came back and lit up the Leafs in his first game, I wasn't upset at all.

    On another note, this is some funny stuff DGB. So happy he's retiring, now he can take his seeing eye dog wherever he goes.

  4. Marouelli is apparently staying on another year due to career-threatening injuries to Dave Jackson, Don vanMassenhoven, and Mike Hasenfratz. Sorry Mike.

  5. A friend just recommended your blog to me....oh my god. You're obviously nearly as insane as Sean Avery. Oh, except you can actually form complete sentences.

  6. @LJP - Marouelli is still retiring.

    Here's the article on the NHLOA page. His last game will be April 10 in Montreal.

    It's Bill McCreary who has been talked into staying on another season.

  7. •Always dealt graciously with criticism; in fact, you could give him the finger right in front of his face and he would just stand there as if he didn't even see it. LOL

    Good one DGB. Not goiung to miss Fraser at all.

  8. He really did have groovy hair though. Who needs a helmet with that kinda lid, eh?

  9. His two syllable last name also sounds good in chants like "FRA-SER SUCKS!! FRA-SER SUCKS!!!"

  10. I once almost fought his son.

  11. A fitting send-off. You should get a version translated to Braille and sent to Fraser so he can read it too!

  12. A friend told me about your blog and this post is extremely funny. I’m also trying to learn more about hockey. In case I don’t at least I’ll learn to make funnier jokes.

  13. I can tell you for a fact that one of these is not true. I was at the last game Kerry Fraser reffed at the Air Canada Center, the OT win against the Rangers a few weeks back. I was sitting in the third row. It was the first time I wasn't sitting in back five, and here I was in the platinums. He skated by, and I gave him the finger, and that asshole winked at me.

  14. @ Mike Adams and Sparrow, I read a crappy Leaf-hating columnist (maybe Berger?) say recently that Leaf fans hated Mario, Gretzky, and Orr, and I still don't remember anything said about any of them. In fact, most Leaf fans biggest gripe against Gretzky they still blame on Fraser, and a good number of them never stop bitching about Stavro not letting Fletcher sign him.

  15. HAIR HAIR HAIR...and if that doesn't end the the argument remember that:

    My hair is a bird, your argument is invalid.

    And thus, Faser wins.

  16. I can now die a happy man knowing my children will not have to watch this blind S.O.B. officiate anothe hockey game. And by the in the south has worked out just fine for me. Pavel with the Panthers was fun to see. And living in Raleigh the last 6 years has been better than groing up in Detroit during the Dead Wing years. Thankyou for making me laugh with your posts, and F.U. Bettman!

  17. Sorry for the grammatical errors. I posted from cell phone while paying homage to Fraser while on the Thrown. Plus living in the south may contribute to slow reponses. I believe it may be caused by drinking the water.

  18. Finding out Bill McCreary is going to be making up the rules as the game goes on just ruined the start of my vacation. Marouelli needed to go ages ago but I think I'd keep him over the Stache. Kerry Fraser was interesting in that every hockey fan I know regardless of team thought he was out to screw their team. He might simply have just been incompetent, not biased.

  19. Excellent. Could have been crueler, but excellent.

  20. I have watched this guy operate for way too many years. He is undoubtedly got to get himself involved in the outcome of the most important games and today was no different. Once again, he dictated the game against the F'ers this afternoon if it was NJ his backyard then the Rangers wouldn't have had a chance-Devils always got the breaks against this... Whenever, you remember the referees name there is a problem. He put away his whistle after he got the F'ers enough power play chances. How convenient he a a double minor against Pronger on Shelly- no wonder he is hated -couldn't make it as player so he became a discrace to the NHL with his refereeing.

  21. Thanks for that cheap interference call on your way out the door you blind helmet-haired piece of shit.

  22. I bet that the next time we get close to a Cup, Stephane Auger is gonna screw us over.

  23. with Kerry Fraser retiring from his duties as an nhl ref, one has to wonder what the hell the nhl is gonna do with all that surplus hairspray?

  24. kerry fraser was voted best reff in the nhl by the players.... clearly he has done something right. i think he's great.

    1. Shut up, Kerry Fraser!