Colin Fraser after his first game in Manchester


Prior to Friday night in Manchester, Colin Fraser hadn’t played in the AHL since suiting up for the Rockford IceHogs in 2008. However, after being put on waivers by the LA Kings just as the NHL was going on their Olympic break – and ultimately going unclaimed by one of the 29 other clubs – he found himself assigned to the Monarchs.

As we reported last week, he flew to New Hampshire a few days ago to practice with the team and then made his debut vs. the Springfield Falcons. Manchester lost the game 4-3, with Fraser getting plenty of ice time and recording two shots on goal. He also centered a line that included Kings prospect Andy Andreoff.

After the game, he shared the following thoughts with MayorsManor…

On his initial impressions of fitting in with the Monarchs:

“It’s been an adjustment, I guess, a little bit. The guys have been very welcoming. They have a young team that makes me feel young again. I’m getting to be an old man now, but it was good. It was fun to play a regular shift. It [wasn’t] the outcome we wanted but it got better as the game went on. To play a regular shift is nice, first time in a long time.”

On the differences between the NHL and the AHL:

“Number one is speed, not only speed of players, but the speed that the plays are made, how fast guys think. When you make plays and then mistakes are not as big because [if] you make a mistake on Kopitar and he’s going to put it in the back of the net. Speed, number one, is the biggest difference for me. They’ve got a lot of good young players here. The team works hard. I can see that for sure.”

On if he thinks this difference in pace is the biggest adjustment for players trying to crack NHL lineups:

“One hundred percent. I played in the American League a while back, but there are lots of guys that are still playing the American league who are really good players, top scoring every year but they just can’t make that jump. They’re just not quite good enough to play in the top six in the NHL. They’re certainly skilled enough in my opinion, but sometimes it’s just a little thing such as skating. It’s not a huge thing. Inches makes a big difference in hockey.”

On if he knows anyone on the team outside of Martin Jones:

“Outside of training camp, I think Schultzy a little bit from junior. He’s a western guy. Just from camp is where I know them all. Hockey is an easy sport to make friends. We’re all in it together. The adjustment’s been really easy.”

On Mark Morris’ message when he first arrived:

“Be a leader. Leadership. We’ve got a young team. I guess I’m that older veteran guy now. I’ve become that guy. It’s funny to think like that. Just lead by example. I’m a vocal guy. I like to talk a lot, but I’m pretty positive. Tonight was a good start. It was fun to play.”

On if the Kings gave him any hints as to their plans for him:

“All I know is I was put on waivers and I cleared waivers. I was going to Manchester and that’s all I know. They keep you in the dark.”

On how it felt to play more than six minutes:

[Laughter] “It was a lot of fun. It really was. I said to my wife, it’ll be fun to get a regular shift. I played more than I ever thought of, probably most I’ve ever played in my life. For 6 years, playing 6, 8, 10 minutes, in a role that I’m super happy and gladly will play for as long as I can in the NHL, but to play on the power play and the penalty kill and get a regular shift is…it’s a big difference. It’s a lot of fun and you’re in the game more. You’re just rolling more. It’s fun.”

On the last time he played power play:

“I played spot duty my third year in Rockford. We had a really good team though, so I didn’t even get regular shift there. But I got some spot duty in the net front just like tonight. Mark told me to stand in front and don’t move and that’s what I did.”

On how much he had to pay Ian O’Connor to get his number:

“Hey, it’s funny, I didn’t even know. They gave me 24. They just did it. I guess [it was] the veteran thing. Personally I don’t really care. If they’d have asked me I probably would have taken another number because it really doesn’t matter to me. But it was nice of him to give it up. [Reporter: You going to buy him dinner or something?] I guess I owe him a beer and dinner. I’m okay with that.”

On if he’s been keeping up with the Olympics:

“Big Olympic fan. I think it’s a chance to, not only watch hockey, but watch other sports that you never really see. Talented people. Every four years, it’s one of those things they work so hard for. And then obviously hockey, number one, especially that women’s gold medal game. If you talk about women’s hockey, I was as entertained as I’ve ever been watching a hockey game. It was pretty good.”

On how difficult it is to watch some of the Kings scoring well at the Olympics, when it’s been such a struggle in LA:

“There’s no explaining it really. You look at the Kings roster from top to bottom and we have a lot of skilled guys, a lot of players who are definitely good enough to put the puck in the net. It’s just one of those unexplainable things for whatever reason. Obviously [the Kings’] identity is a defense-first team, but that being said, they’ve got enough skill to score more goals than they do. It’s nice to see those guys. Maybe it’ll heat up for us here down the stretch.”

Special thanks to MayorsManor correspondent Andy Tonge for supplying the audio.

3 MUST-READ ARTICLES:

Colin Fraser has a few concerns about going to the White House

Colin Fraser after winning the Cup – ‘Anything for The Mayor!’

MayorsManor LIVE radio – Summer Vacation with Colin Fraser

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