Ian Laperriere new coach of the Phantoms
With salary cap restraints in the National Hockey League, a team cannot just spend top money to bring in the best players from around the league. Rather, they need to properly develop their own talent, draft well and be responsible when it comes to signing free agents. It requires an entire organization to be on the same page and with the same objectives moving forward.
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers announced an important hire within their own organization. They revealed that they had hired Ian Laperriere to be the new head coach of the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He becomes just the 11th head coach in Phantoms’ history.
“We’re very happy to have Ian serve as the next head coach of the Phantoms,” said Flyers’ President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Chuck Fletcher, via NHL.com. “He has been an extremely dedicated individual to the Flyers organization and has shown a strong work ethic as a player, development coach and an assistant over the last 12 years for us. We are excited to have him at the forefront of developing our prospects, preparing them to reach the NHL and bringing success to Lehigh Valley.”
Laperriere has been with the Flyers’ organization for the past eight seasons as an assistant coach and had previously worked with the club as a Director of Player Development. The 47-year-old is someone the club knows well and wanted to keep with the franchise.
“Rob and I are thrilled to welcome Ian Laperriere as our new head coach,” Phantoms owner Jim Brooks said, via NHL.com. “Lappy is the ultimate team player. He has extensive experience with the organization as a player and coach, and brings a positive enthusiasm that we believe will propel our players to higher standards on and off the ice in their development and quest to win the AHL’s Calder Cup. Ian carries a strong commitment to the community and we look forward to having him represent the Phantoms/Flyers organization and Lehigh Valley community as a leader.”
The Phantoms’ new head coach spent 16 seasons playing in the NHL as a winger, including a season spent with the Flyers during the 2009-2010 campaign when the club went all the way to the Stanley Cup final. He also spent time with the St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche. He officially retired in June, 2012 after having issues with concussions.
“I’m very excited for this next challenge in my career and I would like to thank Chuck Fletcher, Brent Flahr and Barry Hanrahan, as well as Jim and Rob Brooks for this opportunity,” said Laperriere. “The Phantoms are a first-class organization in the AHL and the fan base in Lehigh Valley are the very best at showing their support at every game. I look forward to developing the players in our system, helping the Flyers reach their goals by continuing the success of the Phantoms and building towards winning a Calder Cup Championship.”