dreams, raise your hand if you volunteer.
As the league's all-time leader in games worked, Fraser has a treasure trove of stories and insights to share with fans. And while some fans still insist on focusing on a small handful of controversial moments in his career, the book goes well beyond those few isolated incidents. Fraser pulls no punches in describing the life of an official both on and off the ice, including several details that have never been discussed publicly.
While my advanced copy of the book has mysteriously failed to arrive yet, various sources within the publishing industry have confirmed several explosive revelations.
- Apparently there was some sort of controversial call involving the Leafs and Kings a few years back, and it's sort of surprising that nobody ever brings that up anymore.
- Despite the paranoid fantasies of your childhood Fraser did not actually "hate" your favourite team or player, but instead hated you, personally.
- All NHL referees dread running into commissioner Gary Bettman, since they inevitably end up having to spend an hour explaining why they don't call travelling more often.
- According to an emotional passage on the first page, the entire book is dedicated to Bill McCreary's moustache.
- Contrary to popular belief, the phrase "Screw the Vancouver Canucks" does not appear anywhere within main body of the NHL rule book, and only three times in the appendix.
- In one of those quirky sports coincidences, every one of the 2,165 games Fraser ever officiated ended in a tie.
- Whenever you call in for a video review they always tell you that they're "experiencing unusually high call volumes", as if you don't know that they're just too cheap to hire more customer service reps.
- He owns a share of the all-time record for "most all-star game penalties called", with zero.
- He was steered into refereeing by a high school guidance counsellor who thought he might enjoy having every single decision he made for the rest of his life second-guessed by angry drunk people.
- The book contains 50 full color photographs, 47 of which are shots of small children in Maple Leaf jerseys crying.
- Prior to working the Nagano Olympics in 1998, he jokingly told Team Canada coach Marc Crawford that international rules barred players with jersey numbers higher than 90 from taking part in the shootout.
- During the 1986 playoffs, he once gave Al Secord a game misconduct penalty for humming "We Built This City" during the pregame warmup.
- When he called the infamous illegal stick penalty on Marty McSorley in the 1993 Cup finals, the Kings' enforcer told him "Wow, this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me that didn't involve Wendel Clark's fist turning my orbital bone into a pulpy shard-filled paste".
- Up until 1982, the entire NHL rulebook was written on the back of a matchbook from a pub in Raymore, Saskatchewan.
- He could never understand why fans in all 30 NHL cities always chanted “Bruuuuce” at him from the moment he stepped on the ice every night, because duh, his name isn’t Bruce.
- During instant replay reviews in the Toronto war room, NHL vice-president of hockey operations Mike Murphy refuses to rule on any disputed goal until he's been able to recreate it exactly using the bubble hockey game he keeps in his office.
- The book's foreword by Wayne Gretzky contains a bunch of really obvious typos and grammatical errors, but somehow Fraser failed to see them.