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Doctors tell Ian Laperriere to retire because of concussion problems

Oct 6, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 1-lappy2.jpgIncredibly sad news broke today, as it appears that a shot to the face during the 2010 playoffs ended Ian Laperriere’s career.

NHL.com shares the story that doctors are asking Laperriere to retire because of post-concussion syndrome and nerve damage to his right eye.

A Pittsburgh neurologist on Friday confirmed a Philadelphia doctor’s opinion that Laperriere should retire rather than risk permanent damage to his eye.

“When I get the lights going and there is movement around me, it gets worse and worse and I feel like I’m not myself,” Laperriere told the Courier-Post. “That’s what scares me and that’s why I can’t play. They don’t want me to get hit again and I don’t want to get hit. If I feel this bad right now, how will I feel on my next hit? If I’m not sharp out there, especially with my game, I’m going to get killed.”

Laperriere, 36, became a fan favorite in his first — and apparently only — season in Philadelphia for his physical play and tenacity. He was third on the team with 171 hits and led the club’s forwards with 74 blocked shots, including blocking another shot with his face earlier in the season against Buffalo, but he didn’t miss any time.

Playing all 82 games last season, the 15-year veteran had 3 goals, 20 points and 162 penalty minutes, the 10th-highest total in the League.

It’s a real shame that this might be it for Lappy, but he’ll leave the game as a fan favorite and character guy. His rugged style of play made him endearing to hockey fans, but it also makes the concept of him trying to win board battles or fights in front of the net pretty hard to imagine.

Hopefully Laperriere will be able to feel decent off the ice, if nothing else. It’s wise that he avoids future damage, but his last injury was brutal enough that you have to wonder how much of an impact it will have on his life. Good luck to Laperriere as he moves on while dealing with a serious brain injury.

  1. mike - Oct 6, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    im a lifetime flyer fan and i kno lappy was only here for 1 season but the guy ranks in my all time favorite players. not once in 82 games did i see him ever take a shift off or play less than 150%. hopefully he’ll pull off some incredible recovery but more than likely this is all she wrote for lappy. he won us over here in philly and i speak for the rest of the flyer faithful in wishing him a safe and happy retirement

  2. Armin - Oct 6, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    If you ever needed to show somebody the kind of heart hockey players have and their love of the sport, Lappy was and will be for a long time the perfect example. He never gave up, always gave 100%, and off the ice was just about as great of person, father, husband, etc as anyone could be.
    Im very grateful for Lappy’s time in an Avs uni, and he’ll always be one of my favorite players of all time.

  3. KingDonko - Oct 6, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Bummer to see him go this way but I hate the man. Wild fan

  4. DG - Oct 6, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    I watched this guy break in with the Kings and then the Rangers. Played hard every single night on every shift – a real pro and always seemed like a good dude.
    Its too bad – injuries are part of the game,but something needs to be done in both hockey and football to better protect players heads

  5. Brndon - Oct 6, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    It really sucks to see that he may have to end his career with this injury but its better not to risk is life
    He did an incredible job during the time he was out in the playoffs as an analyst and he his loved in Philadelphia so even though he may have to retire he can definitely become a loved sports figure off the ice in Philly

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