Ian Laperrière lands two-year extension in Lehigh Valley

Laperrière

The Philadelphia Flyers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms announced a two-year contract extension for a long-tenured member of the organization. Former player-turned-coach Ian Laperrière will remain in Lehigh Valley, leading the Flyers’ youth movement at the American Hockey League level through the 2025-26 season. 

Laperriere, 50, has been the Phantoms’ bench boss since the start of the 2021-22 season. Despite some roster Tetris during his time in the AHL, “Lappy” has guided Lehigh Valley to a plus .500 record of 98-92-30.

Flyers Happy with Lappy in Lehigh Valley 

Flyers' GM Daniel Briere, Laperrière
FILE – Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team newly appointed Special Assistant to the General Manager, Daniel Briere, arrives for a news conference in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Why would the Flyers not be happy with the performance of Lehigh Valley’s leader? Laperrière has guided the Phantoms to back-to-back Calder Cup playoff appearances despite facing some challenges with movement to (and from) the NHL roster.  Lappy enjoys preparing AHL players for the opportunities, “I like to help the Flyers get better by working with those kids and making sure they’re ready when they get called up.” 

Flyers General Manager Daniel Briere feels that Laperrière has been effective in his leadership role. “In his three years behind the bench, we have seen consistent improvement, and valuable experience gained from our prospects playing with the Phantoms, and they have been able to step seamlessly to the Flyers when called upon”.

Being able to assist the NHL club when the time is necessary should be the ideal goal of any American Hockey League coaching group. Some of the “graduated” players from the Lehigh Valley system include Cam York, Bobby Brink, and starting goalie Sam Ersson. 

Ian Laperrière’s NHL Brings Valuable Hockey Experience

Ian Laperrière skated over 1,000 NHL games before injury forced him to take a standing position behind the bench. Before exchanging the sweater for a suitcoat, Laperrière was a hard-working depth forward during the 1,083 NHL games of his career. Lappy scored 121 goals and finished with 336 NHL points. His almost 2,000 penalty minutes spent in the “sin bin” exceeded the number of times he laces his NHL skates. 

Laperrière was an important role player for the Flyers during his playing career in Philadelphia. Lappy was an important cog at the beginning of the postseason run that saw the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals against Chicago. Ian suffered a devastating injury during the first-round series against the New Jersey Devils that cost him his career.

Remarkably, the NHL honored Ian Laperrière with the Bill Masterton Trophy following the 2010-11 season, even though Lappy missed the season entirely. The Masterton is awarded to a player who best represents perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey in a given season.