There’s been a lot of attention given to Craig Berube thanks to his recent ascension from assistant to head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, but he’s not the only member of that staff that’s been given a new opportunity.
Just a few years removed from his last NHL game, Ian Laperriere has moved from his role as director of player development to serve as an assistant coach under Berube. He’ll be in charge of guiding the team’s penalty kill, which is a key area for any club, but especially the Flyers given how much trouble they’ve had staying out of the sin bin.
As a player, Laperriere looked to emulate those he played with to improve over the course of his 1,083-game career. As a coach, he’s looking to do the same thing by using some of the tactics that he liked from his past bench bosses.
“Larry Robinson was a guy I really liked with his approach,” Laperriere told CSN Philly. “He’s a real good assistant. He’s personable, has a great pedigree. He won so many Cups and is in the Hall of Fame.
“But his biggest quality is how he talks to guys and how he makes them feel like he cares about them and wants to make them better. That’s what our job is — to help those guys become better. If they make the team better, everyone will be happy.”
Laperriere also admires Andy Murray, who he felt was the best coach he played for when it came to being prepared for an upcoming game. At the same time, he also played under controversial head coach Mike Keenan and will be avoiding many of his tactics.
“Those coaches don’t last,” Laperriere said, adding that Keenan scared him.
Overall, Laperriere plans to just be himself and not change because of the job. He wants to see the Flyers players put an emphasis on conditioning while also staying upbeat.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.