By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Though recent events might put Arron Asham and James Neal in the discussion, Sidney Crosby is still likely the Penguins player that Flyers fans dislike the most. Former NHL referree Kerry Fraser says things would be very different if Crosby was wearing the orange and black.
“You know if he played for the Philadelphia Flyers he would be a typical prototype of what the Flyers are about,” Fraser said in an interview with 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. Fraser officiated over 2,000 NHL games in his career, and is now an analyst for TSN. “A guy like Crosby has an edge to him, that puts him in the face and in the forefront. And with those concussion issues I’m really surprised that he’s continuing to play that way. But what it is, is what you see. That’s the way he is. I don’t think he’s ever going to change. He and I had a couple of nose to nose discussions at points. He’s got that composition, that internal engine, that just lets it out. He’s got passion,” he said.
Fraser, when he was an official, did have some problems with how Crosby played. “It was whining,” Fraser said. “Mike Richards was yelling at him at that instant, he said something to the effect of ‘it looks like a yard sale out here.’ He had gloves thrown all over the place, he was grabbing his face, taking dives. and then he would complain to the referee that he was fouled. I like tough hockey. It’s a man’s game. And I do provide for player safety. Once that line is crossed, I like to see guys respond when the bell rings. There were times when he was looking and going down easy. Which was designed to embarrass the referee and fool him into calling penalties. That wasn’t going to happen with me.”
Sunday’s game between the Penguins and the Flyers got out of control, and Fraser puts that responsibility on the referees for not getting control of the action early. “It was quite a spectacle. From an officiating perspective, it wasn’t a great performance. It fell apart and unraveled. Twelve minutes and two seconds into the first period when the guy didn’t respond when Sidney Crosby took three slashes at Bryzgalov’s glove hand with the puck under it. That was a perfect opportunity from an officiating perspective for them to jump on it, get it under control, assess Crosby a penalty,” Fraser said. “I think [the referees] were a little slow in the uptake until late in the game.”http://nyc.podcast.play.it/media/d0/d0/d1/d0/dB/d1/d6/10B16_3.MP3?authtok=5561748729830030724_GLzryz0mFr5sMVA9PnQsVP4sU