Ian Laperriere was signed by the Flyers as a free agent in the summer of 2009 and in just one season, the man everyone calls "Lappy" quickly made an impression on his teammates, management that signed him and of course the fans of Philadelphia.
Laperriere was the recipient of several awards that were a true testament to the warrior he was on the ice as well as the heart and dignity he brought to the team.
For the 2009-10 season he was the recipient of the Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award which is presented annually to the Flyer who best illustrates character, dignity and respect for the sport both on and off the ice, as well as the Gene Hart Memorial Award, given to the player who demonstrated the most “Heart” during the season voted by the Philadelphia Flyers fan club.
Although not in the lineup for the entire 82-game regular season, the following year Laperriere was honored by the National Hockey League with the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. This award is given to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey,” a fiiting description of Ian Laperriere’s character.
During the Flyers 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs run to the Final, Laperriere sustained a severe head injury after blocking a Paul Martin slapshot with his face in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series vs. New Jersey. He suffered a concussion and fractured orbital bone, but returned a little more than a month later to appear in the Eastern Conference Final vs. Montreal and Stanley Cup Final vs. Chicago.
After attempting to return to training camp the summer following summer, he was unable to overcome his concussion-related symptoms and spent the duration of his contract long-term injury reserve, but still came of great service to the Flyers organization by helping with draft picks and prospects ever since.
Laperriere's hockey career spanned parts of 19 seasons playing for five teams, including the Flyers, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche. He's played in 1,083 career games and produced 121 goals, 336 points and 1,956 penalty minutes.
While Lappy is official calling it quits today, capping off an amazing career, everyone from the fans to the front office are certainly happy to have the same man that gave everything he had on the ice, continue that same service to the team and game he loves the most from here on out.