LEHIGH VALLEY PHANTOMS | Audio Interview with Head Coach Ian Laperriere, General Manager Chuck Fletcher, AHL, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Flyers, Rocket Sports Media
ALLENTOWN, PA — The AHL Report team joined the Flyers’ virtual media call on Monday, June 7, 2021. Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher and newly-appointed Lehigh Valley Phantoms Head Coach Ian Laperriere spoke to reporters.
New Bench Boss
Laperriere looked excited to start on this new journey in his coaching career. He said he wants to come in as the “energy guy”, bringing positive feedback and energy to the AHL franchise. With his background in player development, Laperriere believes in his ability to help young prospects transition to professional hockey. He wants to “find the right chair” for young players to move their careers forward.
Next, the new coach made strong statements about expectations, indicating that buy-in on systems, fitness level standards, and work ethic “won’t be negotiable”. He also wants to instill a sense of responsibility in his players to properly represent the Phantoms logo both on and off the ice. Hard work will be a top demand, with the coach reminding reporters a few times that ice time is earned.
The AHL Report’s Amy Johnson asked the new coach about finding the key to combining player development with a winning AHL environment and Laperriere admitted that it’s a delicate balancing act. He repeated that he’ll find ways to steer young prospects on a path that will bring them and the Flyers success.
Laperriere credited Paul Holmgren for helping him start his post-retirement career path which has led him to this first head coaching position.
Finally, he stated there are a few names in mind for assistant coaches, but will wait until sometime in July to make final decisions. He believes that’s when more “top-notch candidates” will be available. In terms of what type of assistants he’s looking for, Laperriere stressed a desire for a slightly younger coaching staff. He’s looking for people who have “development at heart first” and who can demonstrate ideas, drills, methods, etc. on the ice.
The GM Weighs In
Next, Fletcher admitted that many people, including Alain Vigneault, highly touted Ian’s abilities in support of a decision to make him head coach. He also cited Laperriere’s connections to the organization’s player development personnel and ability to connect with people as reasons why the move will help to solidify Philadelphia’s development model.
Press Conference Audio
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