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50 Kings - Colin Fraser

by Deborah Lew @by_DeborahLew / LAKings.com

In just under 400 NHL games, Colin Fraser has three Stanley Cup Championships to his credit. If you're a math person, those are some pretty good numbers.

Fraser was a member of both the 2012 and 2014 LA Kings Championships, so it's fitting that, even today, when somebody mentions the Kings in Fraser's presence the first thing he thinks of is 'Stanley Cup,' no hesitation.

His arrival in LA during the summer of 2011 was somewhat clouded in uncertainty, as Fraser had a broken foot at the time of the trade from Edmonton, a trade that was later contested by Kings' general manager, Dean Lombardi, when it was discovered that foot surgery would be required.

"It wasn't so much of a surprise I got traded, but it was a surprise getting traded to LA I guess, not that I had them on the radar. A pleasant surprise to say the least," admits Fraser, who didn't know any of his new teammates prior to the trade.

Not able to participate in training camp due to his injury, Fraser had no idea where he belonged, only that he wanted to play.

"I didn't know what was going to happen. They had 14 forwards on one-way contracts, and I was the fifteenth forward, so I didn't really know where I stood in the depth charts. I was coming off an injury and I hadn't done a squat all summer long because of a broken foot and I got surgery, so I basically told my wife 'be prepared, we might have to go to Manchester' and this is what I truly believed because I didn't know how I was going to fit in there with all the bodies around."

In mid-November of 2011 after he was finally cleared for game action, Fraser approached Lombardi and asked for a status check, at which Lombardi asked him for a week to sort things out. The very next game, forward Scott Parse suffered a season-ending hip injury, which opened the door for Fraser.

"The rest is history, you could say. I never missed a game the rest of the season," recalls the 31-year-old Fraser.

After renting his first South Bay residence for two weeks at a time, due to the ambiguity of his playing situation, he ended up staying in Los Angeles for the next three years, and became a beloved teammate in the locker room as well as a fan-favorite.

"I know it sounds cliché, but winning teams always have the best group of guys," explains Fraser, who won his first Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. "I've been on three winning teams and it truly is; the tightness and the camaraderie was clear from the get-go."

En route to the Kings' 2012 Championship, Fraser opened the scoring in the Stanley Cup Final, as the Kings took Game 1 against the Devils by the final score of 2-1.

"People ask me which [championship] I liked the best and I guess on a personal level I liked [2012] the best because I contributed more on the ice and I played every game, and the story of coming from damaged goods, not knowing where I'm going to play, to eight months later lifting the Stanley Cup. It was nice to prove the Oilers wrong with the opportunity I got in Edmonton compared to LA," declares Fraser, affectionately known as 'Fraz.'

Championships aside, Fraser's three seasons in a Kings uniform left him with many fond memories for himself, and allowed him to impress his own upon others.

One of his best stories is of a meeting he had with Lombardi, who often has players in his office for chats, and loves using analogies. During this particular meeting, Lombardi compared Fraser to the Doug Heffernan character from the television show 'King of Queens' in a conversation that Fraser assumes stemmed from Lombardi's lack of enthusiasm with Fraser's recent play.

"He says 'you wake up, you go to your job, you put in your work and you go home. You're working, but you're not really working.' I'm like 'okay?' Then he starts telling me I need to be more like Justin Williams, and he pulls out a picture of Bart Simpson. 'Justin Williams is like Bart Simpson. When he's on, he's crazy, he's sporadic, he's working hard, he's all over the place. I need more Bart Simpson and less Douggie Heffernan.' That was my meeting with Dean Lombardi," recalls Fraser, laughing.

While Fraser thinks of Stanley Cups when he thinks of the Kings, Kings fans think of two things when they think of Fraser, the first being the photo of Fraser crying tears of blood, in an excellent portrayal of a hockey warrior engaged in battle.

When asked about the photo, Fraser chuckles. The incident occurred in the Western Conference Semi-final against the St. Louis Blues, when Fraser and T.J. Oshie accidentally ran into each other and Oshie's stick came up to clip Fraser's eyelid.

 

"It didn't even hurt at all," Fraser shares. "I didn't even know I was bleeding, I was hoping I was bleeding, as crazy as it sounds, but you want a four-minute penalty, right? So I didn't want to touch my eye, I just wanted to show [the officials.] Then of course somebody got a pretty good picture of it, crying tears of blood, because it was literally my eyelid was cut for one or two stitches. Although nothing happened, that's as close as you can get to losing an eye."

As a result, Fraser began wearing a visor the following season, but he is thoroughly amused at the longevity of the photo.

"I think the picture is hilarious. It still comes up, people tag me on Twitter once in a while, and it's just a cool picture, I can show my kids," jokes Fraser. "It's kind of funny how it goes, it didn't hurt and wasn't even a big deal, but made for a cool moment. We win the Stanley Cup and now everyone thinks I'm cool because I bleed from my eye."

The other fan-favorite Fraser character detail is the term 'make 'em pay,' which teammates attributed to Fraser during an in-arena video, and fans quickly caught onto. According to Fraser, the backstory on the now-famous 'Fraser Phrase,' is that, being a vocal guy on the bench, he would always yell out 'make 'em pay' when the Kings were awarded a power play. To this day, guys like current Kings Alec Martinez and Kyle Clifford, whom Fraser still keeps in regular contact with, chide him about the line.

"I'm thankful that the guys still mention me in the room. I've been gone for three years now and they still talk about me, so obviously that's a good thing, even if they are making fun of me," concedes Fraser.

While he is still thought and spoken of highly in Los Angeles, Fraser has retired from professional hockey and is back at his home in Sylvan Lake, Alberta. He and his wife Carli now have three children - six-year-old and 10-month-old sons, and a four-year-old daughter. Fraser is currently working with a group of financial advisors who help athletes - and more specifically for Fraser, hockey players - efficiently plan for their futures.

If Fraser is as successful in his new career as he was at winning Stanley Cups, there should be a line out the door of people willing to pay for his financial services…no power play needed.

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