Throughout any career there are going to be bumps in the road, but for Ian Laperriere
, those bumps happened to be on his face.
Over a year after getting hit in the face with a puck, Laperriere is still recovering from damage to his eye, which doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. He cannot play hockey, yet, but that hasn’t kept him off the ice. He is going to help the Flyers succeed one way or another, and since the beginning of the season, he has been mentoring young Flyers, helping them reach their full potential.
“I like helping the young guys, I have good relationships with them,” Laperriere said during the 2011 Flyers Prospect Camp. “I got experience that I could do something with coaching or be a mentor.”
Mentoring has been a welcomed distraction, but being able to spend more time with his wife, Magali, and two sons, Tristan, 9, and Zachary, 7, has really helped him through this past year.
“When you get injured it's bad, but on the other hand, you’re home a lot more and that’s what I did,” Laperriere said. “I spent as much time as I could with my kids. It helped me a lot going through that year not being able to play, not being able to do something I did for 30 years. It was hard, but on the other hand, having my wife and kids around really helped me through.”
Skiing, going to hockey practices, and picking the kids up from school are a couple of the luxuries Laperriere got to experience while he was home. He took a bad situation and found all the positives that he could.
After being part of a team for 32 years it’s hard to sit and watch from the stands. He misses his boys, and being part of the team.
“I was at the rink quite a bit, but it’s not the same,” Laperriere said. “I don’t miss the bumps and bruises and the stitches, getting my nose broken, but I miss everything about the game, but if I don’t get healthy, I am going to move on and do something else.”
Whatever comes next for Ian Laperriere
is going to be just as great as what we have seen from him before, and it doesn’t seem like his energy and enthusiasm are going anywhere.
Last month Laperriere was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. A trophy awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. These qualities perfectly describe Laperriere and what he has done for the Flyers over the past year.
“I go with the flow,” Laperriere said. “I am just seeing where life is going to take me. I try everything, I tried TV last year. Hopefully, if my eye clears up, there’s hope in that regard. I go day by day and I feel better everyday, and it’s just blurry in my eye and hopefully that’s going to go away.”
With all his dedication and perseverance through this trying time, we should be hopeful in regards to his full recovery, and soon enough be back out on the ice doing what he loves.