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Life of the Party

Laperriere brings toughness, personality to locker room

Wednesday, 09.02.2009 / 2:41 PM / News
By Kevin Kurz  - philadelphiaflyers.com
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Life of the Party
(Voorhees, NJ) – When the Flyers signed free-agent forward Ian Laperriere on July 1 to a three-year deal, a player who has spent the majority of his 16-year NHL career in the Western Conference, it was a move made with more than just goals and assists in mind.

After all, Laperriere’s 19 points (7g, 12a) in 74 games last season with Colorado didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard. It’s the other parts of his game, though, that were so attractive to general manager Paul Holmgren and the Flyers' brass.
Ian Laperriere was signed to a three-year contract by the Flyers on July 1, 2009. (Getty Images)

“[Laperriere] is a role player that can take a little bit of the burden off some of our other guys in other roles like penalty killing and face-offs,” said Holmgren at the time of the announcement. “He is a warrior-type player. He will provide us with lots of energy and is one of those types of character players that everybody is after.”

FlyersTV: Laperriere press conference

Spend even two minutes around Laperriere and it becomes evident that he is one of those people that are just plain fun to be around.

“You know, I’m pretty much…I get along with everybody. I’m French-Canadian, but I like everybody,” he joked. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Russian, Czech, Slovak, Finn; I’m known to get along with any language, even if my English is awful. Maybe that’s why those guys like to talk to me because they feel like they’re talking to one of their own without English (laughs).

“I just like to have fun, show up every day to work, and the guys appreciate that, I guess.”

While his good nature and wide smile are sure to keep things loose in the locker room, on the ice he can be the exact opposite if you’re his opponent or happen to take any liberties against his teammates. That’s when the “warrior,” as Holmgren described, is let loose.

“I’m not a heavyweight by any means, or the toughest guy in the league, but if I see something I don’t like, [or] someone takes advantage of my teammates, I’ll be one of the first ones here [to respond],” he said on Tuesday morning after an informal skate. “I might have to fight with some of my teammates to get there, but I hope to be the guy.”

Laperriere is referring to the overall team toughness that permeates throughout the club’s roster. In fact, just about every one of the Flyers’ offseason additions brings an edge to his game, including Laperriere, who has almost 1800 career penalty minutes.

He’s looking forward to being on a team that is difficult to play against in more ways than one.

“We just can’t get away from being team-tough,” he said. “It’s different to be team-tough than goon-tough, and we’ve got a bunch of guys who can fight but fight for the right reasons and fight at the right times. It’s a fine line.

“That’s our job as a team to understand that, and to become a tough team to play against.”

After signing with the Flyers, the 35-year-od right wing spent the majority of the summer in his native Montreal training and spending time with his wife and two boys. He came back on August 23rd to begin preparing for the season and to meet his new teammates.

He would like to forget the 2008-09 campaign as quickly as possible, as Colorado finished with the worst record in the Western Conference a year ago.

“It was the toughest year of my career,” said Laperriere. “It’s not fun to lose every night, you know. It was an awful year and I want to put that year behind me. I’m just look forward to [being on] a winning team.

“Last year [the Flyers] were successful, but not even close to where we want to be. Hopefully, I can be a little piece of the puzzle, and can help this team to achieve the ultimate goal: to win the Stanley Cup.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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