NHL sits Fraser for Game 6

NADIA MOHARIB AND ERIC FRANCIS --Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:34 PM ET

 An NHL referee unpopular with Calgary Flames fans will not be in the lineup for tonight's Stanley Cup playoff game.

 After careful consideration, the NHL announced yesterday it has opted not to assign Kerry Fraser and Brad Watson officiating duties for tonight's Game 6 as tentatively scheduled last week.

  Instead, refs Bill McCreary and Stephen Walkom are assigned to work Game 6 when Tampa Bay is here to take on the Flames.

 The official reason given by league spokesman Frank Brown was had nothing to do with Fraser's performance last Monday in Calgary.

 "The schedule is made on a game-to- game basis at this stage," said Brown.

 "(McCreary and Walkom) worked a great game (Thursday) night."

 Last Monday, Fraser left the ice under a hail of beverages and other projectiles following a call two minutes in that put the Flames down two men and led to the Tampa Bay Lightning's only goal in a 1-0 win.

 Many fans say keeping Fraser out of Game 6 is a good call.

 "That's good for Calgary, maybe we'll have a chance to take the Stanley Cup," said Flames fan Cam Heinz, who feared negative media attention might have given Fraser an unfair bias.

 "Now we won't have to deal with Kerry Fraser and it will be a fair game for everyone."

 Flames president Ken King said he is indifferent to the ref choice.

 "We are not in control or in charge of referee selection, we would be prepared for whomever steps onto the ice," he said. "We have to be indifferent, you play the hands you are dealt."

 King also said it may benefit Fraser not to be on-ice given the amount of scrutiny he's been under.

 "If he makes a mistake, like all human beings can, that could be misconstrued," King said.


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