Fraser sets Officiating Record

Thursday, March 27, 2003

On Saturday, March 30, 2003, when National Hockey League Veteran Referee Kerry Fraser takes to the ice in Chicago, he will be working his 1476th Regular Season game, surpassing Hall of Fame NHL Referee Andy Van Hellemond, as the all-time leader of games officiated by a Referee in the National Hockey League.

This is truly a remarkable achievement for a remarkable Referee and man. It will be a tremendous honor for Kerry to share with Hall of Fame referee, friend and former colleague Andy Van Hellemond the privilege of having refereed 1,475 regular season games in the National Hockey League.

Both of these men have been blessed to endure the test of time to achieve such a milestone.

Kerry Fraser got his start in hockey at a very young age, being only 15 months old, when his Father Hilt, who was playing professional hockey at the time, would place Kerry on the ice, prior to his practices, so Kerry could practice his skating. To this day, Kerry remains one of the elite skaters in the National Hockey League.

He would then go on to play his Minor Hockey in his hometown of Sarnia, Ontario, where he was a member of 4 All Ontario Minor Hockey Championship Teams. He played Jr. Hockey for 3 Seasons, with the Sarnia Jr. Bees, captaining the team in his final season.

At the age of 12, Kerry began his officiating career by chasing pucks for his father, who was refereeing Industrial League hockey at that time. At 15, he refereed his first game in this same Industrial League, taking charge of a game, involving men much older than him.

In 1972, at the urging of local resident, well known Ted Garvin, an icon in the hockey world, and close family friend, Kerry attended an Officiating School in Haliburton. At that Officiating School in Haliburton, was Hall of Fame former NHL Referee and Supervisor of Officials, Mr. Frank Udvari, who scouted Kerry at the school and invited him to the NHL training camp for officials the following week.

It was under the tutelage of Frank Udvari that Kerry would develop and hone his future skills as an outstanding National Hockey League referee. Kerry would soon sign a contract with the National Hockey League to officiate minor professional league games, and shortly afterwards moved up to the NHL as a full-time Referee.

Kerry Fraser has Refereed 223 Stanley Cup Playoff Games, second only to Andy Van Hellemond, at 227.

He has worked 11 Stanley Cup Finals.

He officiated the 1990 NHL All Star Game in Pittsburgh, and 2000 All Star Game in Toronto, the 1996 World Cup and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Kerry also worked with his son-in-law, NHL Referee Harry Dumas, in his first NHL game, December 27, 2000.

Kerry’s son Ryan, is following in his father’s footsteps, presently refereeing in the American Hockey League, working his way up to the NHL.

Kerry would like to make it known, in his own words, that…

“As I’m sure Andy would attest to, no one person achieves this sort of longevity on their own. It is through the wonderful support and sacrifice of family, assistance from colleagues both on and off the ice, as well as coaching and support from League management and supervisory staff over the many years. It is through the wonderful support that milestones such as this be achieved. It is with this group along with sincere gratitude that game number 1475 and beyond will always be shared!"

Kerry shares this incredible milestone with his wife Kathy and their 7 wonderful children. A true family milestone.

Congratulations to Kerry Fraser on a remarkable career!





 
National Hockey League Officials Association