Mark Madden

Mark Madden

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MARIO VS. KERRY FRASER


Mario Lemieux wasn’t noted for feuding with individuals during his illustrious NHL career.

But there were certainly those he disliked.

His biggest nemesis wore a striped shirt, not an opposing sweater.

Kerry Fraser officiated in the NHL from 1973-2010 and was a self-important jackass every second of that time. Fraser would lecture Mario, telling him he needed to act more like a leader. Fraser later did the same with Sidney Crosby.

Hey, haircut: Just make calls and blow the whistle, OK?

Fraser was tagged a “superstar referee,” but there’s no such thing. Imagine some zebra telling the game’s best players how they should behave. Wow.

The rancor between Lemieux and Fraser reached a crescendo on April 5, 1994 during a game between the Penguins and visiting Tampa Bay.

Fraser whistled Lemieux for high-sticking, words were exchanged, more penalties were assessed, and Mario came charging out of the penalty box at Fraser. Lemieux was ultimately ejected.

That night’s customers were deprived of seeing a full game’s worth of Mario Lemieux. Not one of them had paid to see Kerry Fraser.

Fraser wrote an autobiography. The cover tags him a "legend in stripes" (gag). Don't read it.


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