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The Final Call: Hockey Stories from a Legend in Stripes [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Kerry Fraser , Wayne Gretzky
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15. November 2011
After almost two thousand games and thirty years of wearing the Stripes, legendary NHL official Fraser dropped his final puck at the end of the 2009/2010 season and relives his colourful career officiating hockey in his candid book.

After thirty years in the NHL, legendary referee Kerry Fraser has decided to hang up his skates and enjoy the game from the other side of the boards. Never shy about offering his opinion, nor afraid to step in and separate an on-ice fight, the diminutive Fraser is without question one of the most respected officials in today's NHL. Fraser entered officiating after recognizing that his size would limit his chances as a player. Over the course of the almost two thousand NHL contests, he has shown himself to be an exemplary referee. In The Final Call, Fraser uses the seventy two games he is officiating in his farewell season as the centre piece of his story. He relives candid memories from each city he visits, such as the night he was pulled from the ice by the Boston police after a threat was made that if he skated out for the second period he would be shot. Fraser offers a colourful, behind-the-scenes portrait of our national game, recounting stories of pulling apart enraged 250-lb men in on-ice battles and divulging the politics behind which games are assigned to which refs. Although a referee's job and story may not appear as glamorous as that of a superstar player, it is every bit as entertaining!

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  • Taschenbuch: 304 Seiten
  • Verlag: FENN-M&S; Auflage: Reprint (15. November 2011)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0771047983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771047985
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,5 x 14,1 x 2,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 118.243 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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KERRY FRASER, born May 30, 1952, in Sarnia, Ontario, is the most senior referee in the National Hockey League. He joined the NHL Officials Association on September 1, 1973, and officiated his first game in the 1980-81 season. He will retire from officiating after the 2009-10 season. Fraser lives in New Jersey.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

The relatively short walk along the rubber mat from the officials’ dressing room to the ice at the Wachovia Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers, seems longer today. The kind word and pat on the back I always receive from Louie, our dressing-room-door attendant, is softer than usual. It has the feel of an affectionate gesture, the kind extended when old friends part company, not knowing when (or if) they’ll see each other again.
This is the final day of another regular season, my 30th in the National Hockey League and 34th as a contracted NHL referee. But it’s not just another season; this will be my last!
Just two and a half hours from now, the 2009–10 season, and I will be swept out of the building along with the popcorn boxes, empty beer cups, and other refuse the patrons will have discarded. It is difficult for me to comprehend that time has passed so quickly. With each stride, I recall the tremendous excitement of my very first NHL game as a referee.
Thoughts of that night—October 17, 1980, in Denver, as the Colorado Rockies hosted the Minnesota North Stars—fuse with the bittersweet emotion I now feel. My mind spins out of control as I try to connect the dots of all the games between my first and last. I’m overwhelmed for a moment, then reality takes hold and the analytical part of my brain tells me to check these thoughts along with the rising wave of emotion.
The shrill whistle from the lips of John Malandra, the NHL’s security representative, clears the way past the Zamboni, where the ice crew and ushers have formed a sort of receiving line or honour guard. Stepping onto the polished floor of my office for the 1,904th time (an NHL record), I feel the buzz of the capacity crowd of 19,536. They are at the ready, poised to erupt in unison when their heroes take to the ice from either dressing room. Competition between the rival groups of partisans had already begun in the pre-game warm-up, the chants of “Let’s go, Rangers” being drowned out by the sheer numbers of vocal cords countering with “Let’s go, Flyers.” So far, it appears that no fights have taken place in the stands. This afternoon’s game has assumed the magnitude of a Game Seven, as the winners will capture the final Eastern Conference playoff spot while the losers will break out their golf clubs earlier than expected.
Depending on the tone that the game takes, I suspect that violence between fans will be a foregone conclusion. (Fortunately, we on-ice officials won’t be called on to break it up.) The passion the fans from these two cities feel for their respective teams, and the animosity they demonstrate for each other, whether on the football field, the baseball diamond, or in the hockey arena, runs deep. And hockey fans are a special breed, one that takes team loyalty to a whole different level, especially when it comes to the Flyers and the Rangers.
When this type of energy is generated by the hockey faithful, it spurs athletes and officials alike to reach their peak of performance. I feel the juice running through my soon-to-be-58-year-old-body (considered ancient in this occupation) as I take my first turn around the Wachovia ice. The first lap is always the litmus test as to how my body feels and will respond to the demands that I am about to make on it. Over the course of my career, I’ve learned to utilize my internal thermometer to gauge the physical and emotional signals my body sends me. When necessary, I use positive self-talk to overcome any deficiencies that I detect, whether it is a lack of energy, heavy legs, aches, pains, or a need for heightened awareness and mental focus. The brain is the strongest muscle I have packed into my diminutive frame. Today, mission control tells me that all systems are go. My blades glide effortlessly over the ice as I fly around the 200-by-85-foot surface with the enthusiasm of a rookie.
Looking at the excited faces on the other side of the glass, I recognize many that are familiar. There are no lingering gazes today, however, as I quickly scan past the masses to find the box where my wife, Kathy, our children, grandchildren, and other family members are located. I catch a glimpse of them standing and waving, cheering on their hero. A tear forms in my eye as I consider the love and pride I feel for each of them—and them for me.
I’m transported back to a magical evening spent last night at our home with Kathy, all of our seven children and their spouses, five grandchildren and other extended family. We are joined by my fellow officials for this game: referee Kelly Sutherland, linesmen Don Henderson and Darren Gibbs, and their wives. It was a casual and relaxed evening, sharing a barbecue, but the love that our family feels for one another was clearly demonstrated and visible to our first-time guests. Throughout the evening, we shared stories and laughter. From time to time, each of the officials would remark on the magnitude of this game and the opportunity we were being given in this final moment of my career. I was presented with beautiful, heartfelt gifts from my family and friends, and I was deeply touched by all the love our home held.
The evening ended at a reasonable hour, all of us knowing full well the importance of the game at three o’clock the next afternoon. The NY Rangers had beaten the Flyers the night before at Madison Square Garden creating a tie for the final playoff spot between the two rival franchises. The entire regular season boiled down to this one last game and had all the makings of a Cinderella story.
Our house overflowed with laughter and music as my brother Rick and our sons Ryan and Matthew played their guitars and sang well past midnight, though by then I had long since retired for the evening. I would sleep restlessly, but my final thought as I dozed off was how blessed I was, not only to have had this magnificent career, but more importantly, the love and devotion of a very special family.
When I awoke, in the still-dark room, on Sunday morning, I realized I had guests with me, ones who hadn’t been formally invited yet are always welcome. They came from another place and a previous time in my life. Now that I think of it, they’ve always been there to guide me.
My father was the first of them, followed by John McCauley, my mentor, former colleague, and NHL director of officiating. They were joined by Chief Dennis Ryan, the NHL’s former security representative for the New York Rangers—I knew who he’d be cheering for—and his son-in-law Mikey O’Laughlin, a former security representative for the New Jersey Devils who had succumbed to an horrendous form of cancer, leaving his wife, Mary Katherine, and their young children behind. I felt their presence, and I recognized them. I was startled by it all; I also had the sense that, while their visit was supportive and friendly, it was stirring up emotions that I couldn’t allow to carry me away. I had to focus on the task at hand: the game. I pushed them aside in my thoughts and extended an invitation to visit another time.
Then I heard two of our granddaughters, Madyn and baby Daryn, enjoying the morning excitement of waking up in Mama and Papa’s house for the first time. It made me smile, but it also reminded me that, as I had been forced to do when I sent the visitors away, I needed to insulate myself from all distractions until after the game. I quickly showered and dressed and told Kathy I was heading off, alone, to Mass—the Feast of Divine Mercy—and that I would see her after the game.
My equipment bag had been packed the night before, and it sat waiting for me at the back door, as did a second...


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4.5 von 5 Sternen
4.5 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the best Zebra the Game ever had 3. Juli 2014
Von asmo
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Kerry was quite the ref. Here you can read his side of the Stories.

If you are a hockey fan - it's definetly worth the read!
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
4.0 von 5 Sternen Mit Herz dabei 28. Februar 2011
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Kerry Fraser schreibt seine Memoiren als Rekordschiedsrichter der NHL. Er legt leider ein bisschen viel Wert auf alle Leute, die ihn verabschiedet haben. Das interessiert den Leser doch weniger als seine Anekdoten aus all den Jahren. Für alle Eishockeyfreunde jedoch sehr interessant und lehrreich, vielleicht sogar ein Muss.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.8 von 5 Sternen  34 Rezensionen
21 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Hockey Memoir with a lot of Heart 17. November 2010
Von Chris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I bought this book after reading an excerpt in The Hockey News Magazine. I really didn't know what to expect. Fraser paints a picture of the NHL that is grueling, touching, and funny. He follows his time from his ascension into the ranks as an NHL Referee and follows some extremely memorable moments up until his last game. Fraser discusses some confrontations and experiences with players that are often colorful. What was most endearing about this book were the touching and emotional moments that Fraser experienced. He shows how meaningful hockey has been to him and many of the players he has worked with over the years. As he talks about his last games in different hockey venues, i found myself touched with the admiration and respect that some of the NHL's legendary players had for Fraser. This book is wonderful. I am a college student and amid my various due dates and other responsibilities i found myself reading this book whenever i had a chance. I very highly recommend this book.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen HE SCORES! 27. November 2010
Von HockeyLoversWife - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I ordered this book for my husband after he (like a previous Hockey News subscriber) became intrigued from reading excerpts in the latest issue. It arrived today and my husband can't put it down! For any woman married to a hockey fan, this is the perfect gift for Christmas ... and for those of us who have learned to love the game after being married to a hockey fan, we will patiently wait our turn for the chance to read it after he's done!
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The best hair in Hockey 25. November 2010
Von refto - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Loved reading it... Great stories... cool to learn about what is really said on the ice...Highly entertaining and i would recommend it strongly for any hockey fan...
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must read for hockey fans. 15. Dezember 2010
Von NYC Reader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is one of the best hockey books I've read in a while. It gave some insight about what actually goes on on the ice between players and officials. Kerry Fraser talks about his most memorable NHL arenas and his most moments in each of them. He references some games that I remember watching on TV, as well as ones that I attended. I recommend this to any hockey fan.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Tales From Ice Level 5. Dezember 2012
Von Amory Ross - Veröffentlicht auf
I was a hockey goalie for twenty years. Regardless of how long I stood in the blue, I always wondered what some of the conversations were between players and referees. I've always wanted to know what sort of comments were made between players and what the referees had to deal with. I guess I found out what some of the things were said, but it felt like it wasn't even scratching the surface.

I can't imagine being an NHL referee. They work as part of a system that requires them to be invisible. They are not there to make a game have a different outcome - they are only there to call it fair. It is a position that I feel struggles to ever gain recognition. How would most of us feel if we were told to be invisible? And to be fair, the better you are, the more invisible you are to the all-seeing eye that is the audience, players, coaches, general managers, and the league. To see coaches and players yell at referees in frustration only to be backed up with a home crowd of twenty thousand expressing displeasure makes one wonder why even bother? It is this question that led me to reading this book.

To be fair, Mr. Fraser is certainly not an author. That much is evident on every page. If I may compare Fraser's style to a Saturday Night Live skit that involved a cast member playing Mark Wahlberg. The cast member was stopping people and constantly saying, "Say hi to your motha for me, ok?" I felt like this was how Fraser wrote. It felt like every paragraph involved the following sentence structure: "____________ is a great man. I am blessed to have experienced ___________'s presence and have much respect for the man and what he's done." I won't deny that Fraser probably does have that much respect for the large amount of cast members that adorn his pages. The problem is, it interferes with the tone. As mentioned before, I picked this book up in hopes of hearing referee stories, not a table of contents of people he wanted to thank over the years.

Another aspect that is evident in his interesting writing style is his copious use of exclamation points. Just when it seemed the exclamation point was to be relegated to the ranks of the semi-colon, Fraser dusts off the punctuation option several times, nearly once per paragraph. Again it interferes with the book's tone. He is observed using it many times particularly when straying from the main idea of the chapter at hand. His thoughts are like an old typewriter, a stream of consciousness that keeps ticking away to one side and then is open-palmed smacked back to its original location. He curiously uses players' names to flashback to another time, talk in-depth about that time, and then smack us back to his original message. Another aspect of writing that Fraser loves to use is cliches. He is a large fan of basic writing. Again it interferes with the tone of the book.

I also think his use of overstatement about players' emotions left me feeling puzzled. He talks about getting misty-eyed often at simple thoughts. And he does cite his misty-eyedness often. He can also be observed filling in peoples' thoughts. It's a frustrating stance when the stories should start flowing at an expeditious rate.

Fraser did highlight the professionalism of many of his coworkers. It was interesting to hear some of the stories of players who asked Fraser to intervene when a comment was made that had crossed the line (I had no idea that such comments existed that offended NHL players). It is obvious to note that while the game was in progress, all bets were off. However, once the game was over, players and coaches alike would discuss with Fraser their sentiment for comments made. Sometimes apologies were voluntary, others were mandated. Rarely did players or coaches take the grudge with them outside of the rink. If they did, they were approached and the problem eventually would cement over. It defines the difference between those on the ice, and the fans in the stands (see other comments about this book by people who refuse to read it because of some injustice Fraser personally served them). The stories of Claude Lemieux, Theo Fleury, and Joel Quenneville showed that Fraser bridged the gap between the referee's job and the game at hand. It was also interesting to learn how the referees converged to review the game between whistles and after games. These are the points of view that many do not see.

I feel like Fraser, who writes columns discussing NHL refereeing, missed a great chance to convey a great message. I was curious to hear his viewpoints on all things refereeing. I was hoping he would dish out his thoughts on things such as the criminal act of Todd Bertuzzi (who should be in jail) drilling Steve Moore's face into the ice, ultimately ending his short-lived career, as well as how the game had changed since he started. Perhaps he could have gone into more detail about his experiences at the Olympics or NHL team expansion such to such cities as Columbus (is it enjoyable there to work these towns?). I don't feel that Fraser would have needed to be on the ice for things to be conversed. But I definitely feel that he missed the opportunity to foster a great snapshot of a referee's job description.

Fraser was a great referee and if the NHL ever decides to play hockey again, he will definitely be missed. I think this book is worth a glance, but it certainly won't blow anybody's hair back. I applaud Kerry Fraser for adding some of his candid thoughts on how the NHL handles referees, but the book itself seemed to gain steam too late in the book. On top of that, it never really gained the full steam that it could have been worthy of. Regardless, Kerry Fraser will find his way to the NHL Hall of Fame where he deserves to be but the reasons he got there would be outside of this book.
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