While Ian Laperriere has been on injured reserve for the entire 2010-11 season, “Lappy” is still a part of the team. He’s been a fixture in the Flyers dressing room, even participating as a pre-and-post game analyst for Comcast Sportsnet during the playoffs.
After playing over 1,000 NHL games, his career is likely over, due to concussions sustained last season. Those who knew him, or saw him play, know what type of player Lappy was. Laperriere was the type of player you build a team around. Not for his skill, but for the kind of leadership he brought to the ice and the locker room. His commitment and heart were second to none, and now, he has a chance at some recognition.
Laperriere has been named one of the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Trophy. Oddly enough, the other two nominee’s are former Flyers Daymond Langkow, and Ray Emery.
The Masterton Trohpy is given away annually to “the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Flyers fans loved Lappy for his courage and heart on the ice. Deciding to walk away from the game could not have been an easy one, but it’s clear Laperriere has no regrets. The kind of respect Flyer fans have shown toward Laperriere, after only one season with the club, speaks volumes of a fan base not often described as “classy.”
Very happy for Ray Emery, after suffering what appeared to be a career threatening injury, he returned to the NHL with the Anahiem Ducks this season. We wish him and Daymond Langkow well.