Ian Lapierre rose through the ranks with the Philadelphia Flyers, and his next logical step was to become head coach, with the company’s school club, the Lehi Valley Phantoms.
Quebecker spent the last three seasons of his playing career in the Flyers uniform, including the last two on the injured list, before spending two years as director of player development before moving on to the second floor. He worked as an assistant for seven and a half seasons, during which time he endured four coaching changes.
On Sunday, the Flyers proposed to replace Scott Gordon to lead their American league team.
“At 47, Ian has learned his skills as a player and staff. He deserves this opportunity. He has done everything in this organization and he brings a lot to our school club. Everyone, starting with Alain Vignelt, Paul Holmgren and Bobby Clark, supports him. He’s a powerful and passionate man, and I’m never met someone who does not respect him, plus his ability to connect with people is what players want most for him, ”Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a video conference Monday.
During his years as an assistant instructor, Lapierre developed a loyal role for some players. Now a head coach, he knew one would be adjusted, but he had no idea he wanted someone else.
“I want to be myself. It brought me to where I am today and I have no intention of changing. I now have control over one thing I did not have before: ice time. The players know that. Many things are not discussed. Players like coaches are also going to make mistakes and I can live with that. On the other hand, I ask my players to respect the system in place and work hard. In addition, I always believe in a lot of physical condition. My players should be in good condition, because if not, I will arrange for them. “
And the NHL?
The job he has just secured could bring Lapierre closer as head coach at the NHL in a few years. However, he was not too worried about this possibility.
“My goal is to make our young players better. I live day to day and that is what I have been doing throughout my career. Yes, the NHL is a super league, but I want to make sure that the Phantoms are competitive and that our kids are thriving. If I do my job, the same thing happens. Right now, I’m already strong enough to worry about the NHL. ”