Phantoms coach Ian Laperriere signs two-year contract extension

Phantoms coach Ian Laperriere
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Philadelphia Flyers have announced that Ian Laperrière has signed a two-year contract extension as head coach of the Phantoms through the 2025-26 season.

Laperrière, 50, has been head coach of the Phantoms for three seasons and has been part of the Philadelphia Flyers organization for 15 years beginning as a player in 2009-10. The former NHL veteran player of 1,083 games has been vital in developing Philadelphia’s prospects in the American Hockey League preparing them to play at the top level in the world with the Flyers. Some of the Phantoms products who have been molded by Laperrière’s guidance and leadership include Tyson Foerster, Bobby Brink, Cam York, Egor Zamula, Sam Ersson and more.

“I love what I do,” Laperrière said. “I love to work with those young guys. I want to stay here and we talked and I told them I don’t want to go anywhere. I like to help the Flyers get better by working with those kids and making sure they’re ready when they get called up.”

Following his retirement, Laperrière began his post-playing career with a stint as the Philadelphia Flyers’ Director of Player Development in 2012-13. Laperrière joined the bench as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers beginning an eight-year stretch on the team’s coaching staff in 2013-14. “Lappy” joined Lehigh Valley as the team’s new head coach for the 2021-22 season and has been at the helm for 220 Phantoms games recording a head coaching record of 98-92-30.

In the 2023-24 season, Lehigh Valley qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season and won its first-round postseason series against the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins thus advancing to the second round of the AHL’s postseason for the first time since 2018.

 

“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 in seamlessly to the Flyers when called upon,” said Flyers General Manager Daniel Briere. “In addition, the team has had a steady increase of success which saw the Calder Cup Playoffs return to the great fans in Lehigh Valley. I strongly believe that is a credit to Ian and his staff, and we are happy to have him lead our top development club for the next several years.”

 

Laperrière has not only found his preferred career as head coach of the Phantoms but also a home.

 

“It’s a great place to live too,” Laperrière said. “Me and my wife really love the Valley. It’s a great place to hang out in the summer and there are a lot of nice golf courses. The weather’s been nice so we enjoy our time here. And when the season starts, I love to come to the rink. We have a great facility here and we have everything we need. I didn’t have any reason to look for something else. When the Flyers were more than happy to give me an extension I was very pleased.”

 

Throughout his playing career, Laperrière was a hard-working forward who had long been regarded as one of the NHL’s toughest players. He enjoyed a 15-year playing career in the NHL that encompassed 1,083 games in which he scored 121 goals with 215 assists for 336 points while accumulating 1,956 penalty minutes. He rates 58th all-time in NHL career penalty minutes and is 246th in games played. He was well-respected by teammates and considered a warrior throughout the league in a role that involved killing penalties, blocking shots and standing up for his teammates in skirmishes.

 

Most of his time as a player in the NHL was with the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche following shorter stints with the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. He culminated his playing career in 2009-10 with the Philadelphia Flyers appearing in all 82 games of the regular season and also 13 playoff games as the Flyers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.

 

Lappy then missed two seasons as a player due to the aftereffects of injuries suffered in the first round of the 2010 playoffs when a shot hit him in the face in a game against the New Jersey Devils. He remained active within the organization mentoring the club’s prospects while also dabbling in television analysis. Following the 2010-11 season, even though he did not play in a single game all season, Laperrière won the Bill Masterton Trophy for his perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. He had also been named by The Hockey News as the toughest player in the NHL (John Ferguson Award) for the 2009-10 season.

 

Laperrière hails from Montreal and was a Round 7 selection of the St. Louis Blues in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Ian and his wife, Magali, have two sons named Tristan and Zachary. He was sworn in as a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011.

 

 

 

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About Wayne Fish 2473 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.