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Kerry Fraser confirms the existence of the make-up call

The man’s got a book to sell and is getting more than his fair share of publicity for spending most of his time defending officials’ “discretionary” calls on TSN this spring, but former referee Kerry Fraser’s also been willing to peel back a few “fibs” about referees, admitting that referees both make mistakes (don’t tell the NHL that!) and that yes, they do engage in the occasional “make-up call”:

Publicly, every referee will say, “I don’t do make-up calls.” Let me tell you that it has and does happen on occasion. I’ve done it and I will tell when and why. First let me attempt to explain some of the unrealistic expectations that are placed on the referees without appearing defensive or accusatory.

Expectations and duties of the referee include:

- apply a consistent standard of enforcement of the playing rules as handed down by the Board of Governors/Rules Committee
- provide safety under the rules for participants & maintain the integrity of the game
- provide for an entertaining flow of the game.  (starts to get dicey here and extends below)

Another expectation that is ingrained in the official is to keep the game “FAIR”.  Combine “fair” to the bullet points and some unrealistic expectations; even contradictions arise.

Rule 31-Referees, even refers to “a human factor” on blowing the whistle to stop play but could be included in all decisions made.  “Human error” doesn’t appear anywhere in the book but we know it happens and isn’t limited to just hockey officiating.  It occurs in all jobs and all walks of life.  It can be enhanced when under pressure.  At this point, half of you are probably saying, “C’mon Ref; just call the rules”; the other half are saying “let ‘em play.” No agreement or consensus will be found here.

I learned early in my career that two wrongs don’t make a right. The reputation and respect that every official works hard in developing with players and coaches can be quickly damaged when make-up calls are made.  I found the best answer to a player or coach when a mistake was made is the honest one -“I’m sorry, I missed it.”  You have good days and bad days at work.

Again, don’t tell the NHL that…


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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.