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Report: Laperriere told to retire

Wednesday, 10.06.2010 / 3:47 PM / News

NHL.com

According to a report in the Camden Courier-Post, Philadelphia Flyers veteran forward Ian Laperriere is being told to retire due to post-concussion symptoms and nerve damage to his right eye.

Laperriere was hit by a shot just above the right eye during Game 5 of the Flyers' first-round playoff series against the New Jersey Devils. He suffered a concussion, a fractured orbital bone and a brain contusion, but he missed exactly one month, returning for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and playing all six games of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

However, Laperriere hasn't skated in more than a week due to a recurrence of the post-concussion symptoms.

According to the newspaper's report, a Pittsburgh neurologist Friday confirmed a Philadelphia doctor's opinion that Laperriere should retire rather than risk permanent damage to his eye.

"When I get the lights going and there is movement around me, it gets worse and worse and I feel like I'm not myself," Laperriere told the Courier-Post. "That's what scares me and that's why I can't play. They don't want me to get hit again and I don't want to get hit. If I feel this bad right now, how will I feel on my next hit? If I'm not sharp out there, especially with my game, I'm going to get killed."

Laperriere, 36, became a fan favorite in his first -- and apparently only -- season in Philadelphia for his physical play and tenacity. He was third on the team with 171 hits and led the club's forwards with 74 blocked shots, including blocking another shot with his face earlier in the season against Buffalo, but he didn't miss any time.

Playing all 82 games last season, the 15-year veteran had 3 goals, 20 points and 162 penalty minutes, the 10th-highest total in the League.

The Flyers have not filed retirement papers for Laperriere, but if he has played his last game, he leaves with 121 goals and 336 points in 1,083 games with the Blues, Rangers, Kings, Avalanche and Flyers. His 1,956 penalty minutes led all active players.


Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild