Former Oilers head scout Barry Fraser dies at 82

Former Oilers head scout Barry Fraser, whose shrewd draft picks helped build a hockey dynasty in Edmonton, has died at age 82, the team announced Sunday.

The Oilers revealed in a Twitter post that Fraser died in Edmonton on Sunday. The cause of death has not been revealed.

“He was a fun guy to be around, everyone [that had got to know him] liked the guy, even the opposing scouts in the league – he got along really well with people,” said former Oilers coach and general manager Glen Sather.

“He worked with me and the Oilers for [about] 15-18 years old. We got along well, I listened to his decisions and his advice on who we should draft.”

Fraser was one of the architects of the great Oilers teams of the 1980s and 1990s.

After being named the team’s scouting director in 1979, the Kirkland, Ont. The native has been credited with drafting future Hall of Famers Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Kevin Lowe, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr.

The franchise won five Stanley Cups in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990.

“He picked a lot of great players for us. We had a very young team. Of course, they grew up together and became many star players and Hall of Famers,” Sather said.

“You could really go through the roster and you know this team was drafted by the Oilers, but it was really on the advice of Barry Fraser, and I don’t think the scouts get enough credit from the general fan. . If you try to build a team and you have good scouting staff, you have a good chance of improving.”

Fraser was also an “intense competitor,” Sather said.

In the 1987 Stanley Cup Final, which Edmonton won 4-3, Fraser turned his back on then-Philadelphia Flyers coach Mike Keenan, who tried to shake his hand after one game. Keenan, according to Sather, would send players out to fight when games were out of reach.

“[Fraser] was an outgoing character, he was fun to be around, but he was also very serious about his job and winning and losing – he hated losing,” Sather said.

Fraser left his mark, not just on the Oilers, but on the league.

“If you look at the record of this team, I think that’s the impact he had on the game. We really did a lot of things that weren’t normal in the NHL in those days,” Sather said.

“And Barry was on that team. We had a lot of good people. We all worked together as a team. And it wasn’t as big as the teams today in terms of personnel, but Barry worked really hard. He was probably in Europe half a dozen to a dozen times a year. He worked hard and that’s what it took.”


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