Flyers’ Name Ian Laperriere Director Of Player Development

The Philadelphia Flyers made two big decisions heading into the 2012-2013 season, hiring Terry Murray as the next Adirondack Phantoms head coach and appointing former Flyer, Ian Laperriere as Director of Play Development. Both return to the Flyers’ organization, Murray as a former head coach and Ian Laperriere a former player. Flyers’ General Manager, Paul Holmgren made the announcement Friday.

Ian Laperriere recently announced his retirement following a sad ending to his career, unable to play the last two seasons due to concussion like symptoms. Paul Holmgren stated Laperriere’s experience will help him in his new role in the Flyers’ organization. “Ian will work closely with all of our young prospects in the system from skill development to fitness to nutrition. We feel that Ian’s experiences and enthusiasm for life and the game of hockey make him the perfect man for this important role.”

Since Laperriere’s playing career recently concluded, he feels his ability to develop relationships with younger players will be a benefit. “It’s one of those jobs that you need a relationship with the young guys and you need to have some experience, and I think I have both.  I’ve always been able to relate well with anybody, from 18 year old kids to 40-year-old veterans – it’s always been one of my strengths, so I’m going to use that with these young guys.  I’ll do the best I can to help all our prospects be successful.  It’s a challenge for me and I’m looking forward to it.” Laperriere  added, “It’s a job that suits me well.”

Laperriere played in 1,083 regular season games over his 16 year career in the NHL including 13 playoff games in his only year with the Flyers’. Laperriere sat out the final two years of his contract due to concussions like symptoms which ended his playing career.

In addition to naming Laperriere Director of Player Development, Paul Holmgren announced that Terry Murray will take over as Adirondack Phantoms head coach. Murray returns to the organization, following his firing as Los Angeles Kings head coach this past December. Murray begin as Kings’ head coach at the beginning of the 2008-2009 season. Murray was formerly an assistant coach for the Flyers’, manning the bench alongside former head coaches John Stevens and Ken Hitchcock.

Flyers’ General Manager, Paul Holmgren had good things to say about the return of Murray. “We feel very fortunate to be able to bring Terry back to the Flyers organization as head coach of the Phantoms.” Holmgren added, “Terry brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, is an excellent teacher and a strong believer in the development process of young players.”

The Phantoms’ have struggled mightily since moving from Philadelphia and Murray is looking to change that. “The youth playing down in the American Hockey League is a real important part of the organization.  I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting back into the playoffs and helping these young players develop and become NHL players as quickly as possible.” Murray added, ““I really appreciate the opportunity to come back to the Flyers organization and I’m really looking forward to the challenge that’s out there of coaching the Phantoms.”

In speaking to Tim McManus of the Glenn Falls Post-Star, Murray stated Riley Cote and Kjell Samuelsson are still currently part of the Adirondack coaching staff. New talent will be arriving to Adirondack this fall in the form of Nick Cousins, Cal Heeter and Niko Hovinen making a return to the playoffs by the Flyers’ AHL affiliate probable.

You can follow Matthew on twitter @pasportexaminer and email him at mspeck21@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.

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