The last couple days have been big for some young players, but they’ve also been important to Colin Fraser, who re-upped with the Kings yesterday on a two-year, $1.65-million contract. It’s been quite a full-circle year for Fraser. Last June 26, he found himself in a middle of a firestorm after Edmonton traded him to the Kings, then became involved in a dispute when the Kings determined that Fraser needed foot surgery. Fraser stayed out of the public squabbling, did his rehab work and became a lineup regular for the Kings upon his return in mid-November.
Fraser settled into a fourth-line role and gave the Kings solid minutes, and was also a very well-liked, positive influence in the locker room. Fraser is also celebrating his second Stanley Cup championship, as he was a member of the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks team that won the Cup. Shortly after that, though, he was traded to Edmonton. Now, Fraser will get a chance to return and get another crack at it with the Kings. Fraser was gracious enough to take a few minutes today to talk about his new contract…
FRASER: “For me, it was definitely an easy choice. I’ve been with three different teams in three years, and I felt L.A. was a good fit for me. I fit in good, and obviously we won, so you can’t beat that. It’s pretty much the same team coming back, so it was a no-brainer for me to want to come back.’’
Question: It’s kind of full circle, since it’s almost exactly a year since you were traded to the Kings. Have you had time to sit back and soak in the whole year?
FRASER: “It’s funny how it goes. You go back a year ago, and I didn’t know if I was going to be in L.A. or Manchester or back in Edmonton, or where I was going to end up. I was just kind of a man stuck in the middle, and here I am a year later, playing every game and winning the Stanley Cup and signing a two-year deal. It’s been a crazy 12 months, but everything happens for a reason and it’s obviously all for the good. I’m very excited to be going back to L.A.’’
Question: Two years ago, you won with Chicago and then that team got broken up. Do you like this now, that you come back with this team pretty much intact?
FRASER: “Yeah. That’s the best part of it, really. We have the exact same team coming back. In Chicago, I think they lost nine guys. It was the same thing. I wanted to go back, and everyone wanted to go back, but it just couldn’t work out. This time, with L.A., it can work out. We have a great group of guys, and I would have said that even before we won, but now that we won, it’s proof that we have a good group of guys. It’s nice to stick together and hopefully — not that it’s going to be easy, because everybody is going to be gunning for the top team — but we definitely have the right makeup. We proved it this year, and hopefully we can do it again.’’’
Question: I’m not asking you to speak for all the guys, but did you get that sense that all the guys wanted to keep this together? We don’t know what will happen with Penner, but is there some excitement about this team coming back next season?
FRASER: “Outside of Pens — and I don’t know what’s going on — but me and Stolly both could have went UFA and we both decided to stay. That’s proof, right there, that guys definitely want to stay. Obviously we won, and that’s number one, and outside of hockey, it’s a great place to play, with great fans and a great organization, everything. All those good things that guys look for in signing with a team. When you’ve got that many guys that want to stick around, it just shows that it is a good spot to play.’’
Question: I know you’re bringing the Cup up to the Red Deer area there in Alberta. Do you know when, and what you’re doing with it?
FRASER: “July 18, I’ll be in Red Deer/Sylvan Lake. We’re working on the details right now, so I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I have a few ideas in mind, but I have to make sure it all works out first, before I make the final plan.’’
Question: Do you have a lot of family around there?
FRASER: “My wife is from here, so all her family is here. I have some family in Edmonton, but my immediate family will be coming out from B.C.’’