August 10, 2009
Kerry Fraser Admits Mistake
This was one of the most famous incidents and games in NHL history. Wayne Gretzky, playing what he called his best game ever in the NHL, high sticks Doug Gilmour. 99 should have gotten at least 4 minutes in penalties, as he drew blood. But he got nothing. Moments later Gretz scores the winning goal. The Leafs were eliminated, while the Kings would play for the Stanley Cup. Leafs fans are still trying to get over it.
The referee that night was Kerry Fraser. His view was obstructed, so he asked linesman Ron Finn for input. He did not clearly see the incident either. They decided the injury was the result of a follow through from a shot, and therefor not punishable. Replays show the play quite differently.
Fraser was on Leafs Lunch radio last week. Callers brought up the subject repeatedly, as I'm sure they always do when the name Kerry Fraser is mentioned. He handled it well, admitting he made a mistake and talking about the human element of officiating.
Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun has more details. Helmet tap to Hockey Observer.