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A Higher Calling: NHL Legend Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser is well known as being one of the greatest referees in NHL history. He is also well known for having, perhaps, the greatest head of hair in NHL history too! In the late 1990s my dad and my cousin Joe were in Ocean City. They both attend daily mass. On this occasion, they spotted a guy who looked familiar. They couldn't put their finger on it until they got outside and saw him mounting his bike to ride home. It clicked, there was Kerry Fraser. Dad and Joe walked by Kerry and said hello and made some small talk about hockey. An hour later they said goodbye. Kerry rode away and my dad and cousin walked home. We are a hockey family and I am a hockey nut. They couldn't wait to tell me about their encounter with Kerry Fraser. They could not believe how gracious he was. I was so disappointed that I wasn't there. I missed my chance to meet Kerry.


Fast forward to 2017. I was playing in a charity hockey game and Kerry was the guest referee. I skated by him and shook his hand. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Fraser," I said. His reply was typical of him, "Please call me Kerry." At the dinner following the hockey game, I nervously wandered over to Kerry and his daughter Kara, who were sharing some food and a drink. I told him about his meeting with my dad and cousin and how amazed I was that he would be so down to earth to spend an hour with two guys he didn't even know. I went on to tell him about my charity and about my podcasts and I asked him if he would do a show with me and if he might be willing to referee one of my charity games. He was a gracious that day as he was many years before. He said yes to both requests. That night, as my wife Amy and I left the dinner, I could not have been more thrilled!


When the time came for the Checkmates 2018 Celebrity Hockey Game, Kerry was great! On the ice he was hilarious, making the game even more special than past games. After the game, Kerry gave me a big hug and said he was going to do something special at the post game dinner. With a packed house, Kerry grabbed a mic and regaled the audience with stories from his book, "The Final Call: Hockey Stories from a Legend in Stripes." If you are a hockey fan, this book is a MUST have! Kerry said some very kind and touching words about me that I will never forget. On thing he said was, "Just like he pumps iron, he pumps energy into the people around him." I am not sure how well I live up to Kerry's words, but he certainly is a fantastic model of how to do just that, pump energy into those around us! Kerry and his family are wonderful, loving and faith filled people. It is an honor to call them friends! Enjoy this amazing story Kerry's life and mystical conversion to Catholicism.

Justin


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