New trainer Ian Laperriere will get you in shape. Or else.
Ian Laperriere was officially introduced as the new coach of the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Monday, and the man known as Lappy has said he will be “myself,” a trait he learned from there. former Flyers coach Craig Berube.
A sociable person with a sociable personality, Laperrière, 47, will emphasize fitness in the first head coaching position of his career. He competed in the Iron Man Triathlon competition, consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run.
The Phantoms will be in great shape. Or else.
“I’m a big fan of fitness,” said Laperrière, a tough player during his 16-season NHL career. “The players who are going to play for me are going to have to be in good shape, or I will get them back in shape. They know that. The guys who know me, the guys I coached for the Flyers who will play for me next year here, they know that. I’m sure the word will spread. For me, to be a pro you have to be a pro 24 hours a day, inside and outside the rink. It ranges from nutrition to how you behave in the city. You represent the logo. I believe in it a lot. It’s my job to make sure everyone is on the same page.
General Manager Chuck Fletcher said Laperrière is emotional, passionate and “full of life. He has an innate ability to connect with people.
Laperrière plans to be “the energy guy who’s going to bring life to the rink every day and make sure we’re on the safe side. I think that’s what young people need. They need a leader who will point them in the right direction. Find a chair for these guys, especially those young guys coming from juniors who just don’t know what kind of player they should be as a pro. When you get to that level, everyone was pretty good in junior or college. “
Laperriere added, “My job and that of my staff is going to be to find the right chair for these guys to be successful for the Phantoms. And if they are successful with the Phantoms, they can level up.
After injuries forced him to retire from the Flyers and end his playing career, Laperriere worked for the organization as director of player development and, for the past eight years, as as assistant coach of the NHL team. These duties, he said, prepared him for his current role.
“I like working with young people,” he says. “You know what, that’s what I did as a development player [director]. As an assistant coach I was always like, not the tampon, but the guy who played and could relate to these young guys. I took this and love it. Now I have the chance to do it as a head coach. I will not change my mentality.
Laperierre thanked former club president Paul Holmgren for putting him on the training path.
“Without him I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “This is the guy who signed me, and he asked me what I wanted to do next [playing], and I told him what I wanted to do. He helped me from day one. And you know, you meet so many people in hockey, some that you forget. But Paul Holmgren is the guy I’ll never forget.
Laperrière said he will bring the structure he discusses frequently with Flyers coach Alain Vigneault.
“There are a lot of things that will not be negotiable in the system,” he said. “The players will make mistakes. Coaches will make mistakes. Who I can live with. But you have to stick with the system, the structure we’re talking about, and the hard work. “
Laperrière was asked if he had any aspirations to become a coach in the NHL one day.
“Right now my goal is to make these kids better every day,” he said. “I don’t have time to think about the NHL. I am worried about the children I will have next year and I have a lot of work to do.
Nick Schultz, a player development coach with the Flyers, is among the candidates to fill Laperrière’s former position with Philadelphia. … Laperrière seems to be inclined to hire young assistants with the Ghosts. … Goalkeeper Felix Sandstrom, a pending restricted free agent, has signed with TPS in Finland. The Flyers will own his rights, but he would have been the third goalkeeper in the system had Alex Lyon not signed again. … Wins and losses matter, Fletcher said of the Phantoms and the AHL: “I don’t think you can develop players well unless you have a winning environment.