Ian Laperriere Finally Able To Announce Retirement; Expected Some Time After Stanley Cup Final, According To Report
Philadelphia Flyers forward Ian Laperriere will be announcing his retirement from professional hockey at some point following the completion of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, according to a report from late April by French speaking website Canoe.Ca.
Obviously this is not the most surprising news as Laperriere’s career has long been considered over, but due to restrictions in the collective bargaining agreement it made it a disadvantage for the Flyers to have Laperriere officially retire because his salary would be held against the team regardless of a retirement due to the fact that he signed his contract past the age of 35.
Since playing for the final time in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, he has remained on what is called ‘Long-Term Injured Reserve,’ which denoted that he was unable to play for an extended period of time; in his case, ever again.
This allowed the Flyers to take his cap hit off their books so that they had room to bring in other players.
Now that his three-year, $3.5 million contract has met it’s expiration date, he can officially announce the end of his career without hurting the team.
Laperriere suffered a head injury in the Flyers’ quarterfinals matchup against the New Jersey Devils in the 2010 Cup run when he sacrificed his body to block a shot but was unfortunately hit in the head.
Already considered a warrior, the play has come to cement him as one of the toughest players ever to strap on skates:
Despite returning to action later in the playoffs, the injury ultimately forced Laperriere to hang up his skates for good. Courtesy of Canoe.Ca (translated via Google Translate):
"It's been a long as I expect, because my condition did not improve last year,” he told during a telephone interview.
"I am able to have a normal life, but have a normal life and play in the NHL, this is not the same thing."
According to the article, he and his family plan to stay in the Philadelphia area and it seems he hopes to still help out with the Flyers in some capacity.
Laperriere will retire with 1,083 games played with five teams and a total of 115 goals and 336 total points.
Despite the end of his career, he still has a positive outlook.
"I have no regrets and I had fun playing for 16 years. I left everything on the ice and I was lucky to always play in beautiful cities. I played my last game at age 36 and to be honest, I did not think a player like me could stay within the circuit as long.”
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