Ian Laperriere was in Seattle preparing to fly to British Columbia to scout Flyers prospects when his cell phone rang. It was general manager Paul Holmgren. He wanted to know if the 39-year-old former player was still interested in coaching. Laperriere didn’t even bother to call his wife Magali to discuss another career change. “She knows trust me” he said. “I’ve been with my wife 22 years. When Homer asked me to coach I said ‘Yes.’ That was the goal -- to be in coaching.” Just like that late last Sunday night Laperriere went from the club’s director of player development to Craig Berube’s staff as a bench coach specializing on the penalty kill. The difference? As a development person the proof is four or five years down the line with prospects. As an assistant NHL coach coaching is immediate. “I’ve always liked Lappy” Berube said. “He knows the guys well. The communication from the work ethic standpoint it’s real important our players can see a player like that and know what he did.” John Paddock is an older assistant working with the defense. The organization liked the idea of having a younger coach recently removed from his playing career working and relating to younger players in the dressing room. It made sense using Laperriere. “I’m more excited and nervous than anything else” he said. “Homer said to me ‘Just be yourself’ and so far it took me pretty far in life just being myself and that’s what I’m going to do. “I’m going to be myself around the boys too. I played with a couple of those guys and that’s the dangerous thing. I won’t change. I will be myself. If I changed I would be a hypocrite and not comfortable with that.” Good cop bad cop in the dressing room? “I don’t know” Laperriere said. “Chief is Chief and they know that and I will be myself. Good cop bad cop doesn’t work anymore. It’s not 1970 that you will scare those guys.
Now a coach, Laperriere promises not to change
CSN Philly | Oct 13