The Sarnia Lambton Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors is please to announce their first Inductee for 2014.
NHL Referee Kerry Fraser will be inducted under the Professional Athlete category.
This category is for outstanding performance at the professional level. The Inductee must have achieved professional status and maintained that level for three (3) years or three (3) seasons and be retired from his/her professional career for a minimum of three (3) years.
Kerry Fraser Bio:
Kerry Fraser was born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada on May 30, 1952. Kerry’s father, Hilt Fraser, was a professional hockey player as well as a boxer, world class sailor and outdoorsman. As such, Kerry first strapped on a pair of ice skates at the tender age of 15 months; not too long after learning to walk and began playing organized hockey at the age of 5. Progressing through youth hockey to the Junior A level in Canada, Kerry was known as a good “little” player that played tougher and much bigger than opponents expected from his diminutive 5’7” frame. After completing a successful Junior A hockey career Kerry came to a crossroads in the game. Since he wasn’t drafted by the NHL or newly formed World Hockey Association, rather than play in the minor professional leagues or accept one of the many Division 1 hockey scholarships Kerry had been offered, he decided to pursue a career within the game as a referee. While attending a 5 day referee school that summer of 1972 in Ontario, Kerry was scouted by the NHL Officiating Department and invited to attend their training camp a week later. Kerry was assigned to work in the American Hockey League that season as a linesman to gain experience. The following year young Mr. Fraser was signed to an NHL contract as a referee.
Kerry joined the NHL ranks as a full-time referee in the 1980 season and enjoyed a 30 year career directly in the NHL rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest players the game has ever known. Kerry retired at the end of the 2009-2010 season, working his final game between the NY Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, April 11, 2010. The winner of that game determined which of those two teams would secure the final playoff spot and a fitting way in which to end such as illustrious officiating career. The Philadelphia Flyers won in shoot-out fashion and marched to the Stanley Cup Final while losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. Kerry, on the other hand retired after the game with a record for most games as a referee in the history of the NHL (1,904 regular season and 261 Stanley Cup Playoff games totaling 2,165 NHL games).
Kerry Fraser was selected to referee in 12 different Stanley Cup Finals (his first in 1985, as the youngest referee ever); the 1996 World Cup of Hockey in both Europe and gold medal round in North America; the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan; 2 NHL All-Star games; and the 2010 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day in Boston’s historic Fenway Park. Kerry was overwhelmingly selected as the best referee in the NHL through independent polls of NHL players conducted annually by ESPN and the Toronto Sun, including in his final season. Referee magazine selected Kerry as one of the top 10 officials of the century in any sport and he is arguably the most respected NHL referee ever to blow a whistle.
Upon retirement, Kerry wrote a National bestselling book, “The Final Call, Hockey Stories from a Legend in Stripes” that was release on October 23, 2010 by Fenn Publishing. The Final Call was released in a trade paperback and electronic book by McClelland & Stewart (Random House) on November 12, 2011.
Kerry Fraser, who brings a wealth of hockey enforcement knowledge from 4 different decades of professional hockey at the NHL level, always considered his most important responsibility as a referee at ice level was to provide for player safety. That philosophy of player safety continues as Fraser was invited to make a presentation in October of 2010 as an expert in the field of hockey officiating at the Mayo Clinic Hockey Summit relative to head hits and concussions that currently plague the game. No stranger to the camera or microphone, Kerry Fraser currently brings his vast NHL officiating experience and candid approach to TSN as an analyst on the show, “That’s Hockey 2Nite” and his “C’mon Ref” segment and writes a fan friendly, informative column on tsn.ca during the hockey season.
Fraser and his wife Kathy reside in New Jersey and happily share 7 children and 7 grandchildren.
Kerry Frasers Blog - C'mon Ref on TSN
Other persons being inducted will be be announced in July.
The formal induction and dinner will be held on Saturday September 27 at the Camlachie Community Centre. Tickets are $40.00 and is open to the public.
For tickets contact: Pat Brethauer at email@example.com or 519-328-2118.
photos courtesy of Kerry Fraser Archives