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NHL Ref Kerry Fraser Scores With His Final Call

If you’re like me, you’ve probably said aloud thousands of times, “What in the world was that ref thinking?” As a sports fan, any time your team lines up against another, there is more than one enemy on the field, court or ice. Depending on circumstance, the officials can sometimes be perceived as more of an enemy than the opposing team. Kerry Fraser's new book The Final Call: Hockey Stories From A Legend inStripes, finally gives you the opportunity to find out exactly what was going through an official’s mind as he makes, or in some case doesn’t, some of the most controversial and important calls of his career.

As any hockey fan can probably say, there are certain referees’ names that can evoke emotion. Sometimes I would feel a sense of doom before the Philadelphia Flyers even took the ice, knowing that the referee for the evening “had it in” for my boys in orange and black. I never, ever, got that sense when Kerry Fraser was on the ice. I’m not saying I loved the guy, I don’t love ANY official, but when Kerry was on the ice, you always had a sense that you were going to get fair decisions, and that he would allow the game to be played as it was intended.The Final Call: Hockey Stories From A Legend In Stripes is a unique look at the world of hockey from a perspective we, as fans, seldom get to experience.

Fraser said he wrote the book for the fans. “What they [the fans] really wanted to know is: ‘What happened down there? You know, when you were talking to [Wayne] Gretzky or you talked to [Bobby] Clarke or all the way along…When Mario Lemieux came out of the penalty box after you, what is it like? Give me the inside stuff.’”

Kerry Fraser served the NHL for 30 years. He was lucky enough to see some of the greatest players in the history of the NHL during that time: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Ray Borque, Patrick Roy, Paul Coffey, Martin Brodeur, Jaromir Jagr, Eric Lindros, Chris Chelios, Brett Hull, Bobby Clarke. The list reads like a who’s who in hockey history.

Kerry Fraser, Retired NHL Referee Signs Copies of his new book, The Final Call: Hockey Stories From A Legend In Stripes Kerry Fraser, Retired NHL Referee Signs Copies of his new book, The Final Call: Hockey Stories From A Legend In Stripes

“I wanted to bring the reader, the fan, into my world, down to my ice.” Fraser told PhillySportsWorld, every bit the passionate hockey fan that he wanted to bring along on his journey. “Because they would buy a ticket, and the closest they would get for maybe a $200 or $300 ticket in certain cities, would be that first row. The glass still separated them from theworld they really wanted to be in. They wanted to learn.  They wanted to know. [I had] the ability to tell the stories that had never been told before, that people never heard. They weren’t written in interviews and things of that sort. And it brought them onto the ice with me.”

As fans, I believe most folks crave to be on the ice, hearing the conversations, seeing the action and seeing how the players nteract. In a world where almost all of the information we could possibly want is at our fingertips and can be accessed in amoment, we are still not privy to what happens when two teams face off against each other. What does that feel like? What happens on the ice? What goes on while the puck is in play? When it’s not in play? Through The Final Call: Hockey Stories From A Legend In Stripes, Kerry Fraser does an incredible job of taking the fan down to ice level and making you a part of some of the greatest moments in hockey history.

In addition, The Final Call also takes you on Kerry Fraser’s personal journey of growth. From his days as a junior hockey player, to the
decision that maybe he needed to look for a different line of work, to his debut in the NHL as a gifted, if not brash, young referee, to his many years as the most respected official in the game. Fraser takes you through his personal war with the “Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, and his realization that to be a great referee, he would need to embark on his own spiritual journey. Kerry Fraser allows you to be present and accounted for in some of his finest and not-so-finest moments in an illustrious and distinguished career all the way through to his final call.

Fraser is a fine storyteller, recalling interactions from 30 years ago as if they were yesterday, while taking you through his final visits to some of the most hallowed halls in hockey, in a season that would be his final. Things that the average person wouldn’t think twice about, Fraser has thoughtfully chronicled in detail to give the fan all access to some of the most legendary figures on and off the ice. Hockey is a rough and tumble game, its heroes are often toothless and tough, but Kerry Fraser allows you a glimpse of players at their most real. Human moments of vulnerability, touching stories of redemption and laugh-out loud stories that are guaranteed to make you smile are all woven throughout the book.

The greatest of storytellers can make you feel like the story that they have written is your friend. It may sound crazy, but if you think about it, it happens all the time in entertainment. You may like your favorite TV show for the same reason. You like the characters, they make you laugh or feel something, and consequently you invite them in to your home once a week. The Final Call: Hockey Stories From A Legend in Stripes was the same for me. Ifound myself running home, hoping for some time to read each night, and, as there were more pages behind than ahead, I started to dread the conclusion of the book. I just didn’t want to see it

Kerry Fraser’s The Final Call: Hockey Stories From A Legend In Stripes is the #1 hockey book in Canada, and it is easy to see why. For hockey fans, this book is a must. Fraser sets the bar very high, acting as a gracious guide on a once in a lifetime tour through the annals of the National Hockey League. Fraser’s book is available from Fenn Publishing Comapnay, Ltd. at all book retailers including Barnes & Noble and here.


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