Open Mic: A Look At NHL Senior Referee Kerry Fraser

Ryan PowellCorrespondent IMay 24, 2008

I am not one to cry over spilled milk; however, since the topic came up I have decided to weigh in on one of the most overrated referees in professional sports today.

Kerry Fraser is the longest serving NHL referee, and according to TSN, he is also the most consistent according to NHL players.

My beef with Fraser has less to do with his experience, and more about how he helped hand the Tampa Bay Lightning the Stanley Cup in 2004.

Kerry Fraser was a referee in a few Calgary Flames playoff games in 2004, and for whatever reason, Kerry Fraser made one bad call after another.

His efforts to prevent the success of this young club did not have effect until Game 4 of the 2004 playoffs vs. Tampa Bay, when he called two penalties against Chris Clark and Mike Commodore. This led to a win by the Lightning, and brought the best-of-seven series back to Tampa tied at 2 games a piece.

I attended this game, and the calls were ridiculous.  Anyone who got to experience the Red Mile in 2004, also got to hear the famous chants of Fraser sucks.

Kerry Fraser may be respected by most of the league, but as for the Flames, the players and their fans remember 2004.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Flames faithful greet him with the common phrase of "Fraser sucks" whenever he referees in the Saddledome.