Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Scrappy Lappy

Anyone who has seen Ian Laperriere play knows he’s not known for his prolific goal scoring. Although he has occasionally posted some decent numbers, especially when he played in Colorado.

If you don’t cheer for his team, you respect him, even though you can see he can be one of the most annoying players to play against.

What endears him to hockey fans is his scrappiness. You can see his nose has been broken a few times – something like six or seven times. He gave up on surgery after two. He’s had his teeth stolen and never a day goes by without a scar or scratch.

Getting into fights is something he is famous for. But even Lappy will tell you he does not fight for the sake of fighting.

“Sometimes it’s not the right time.”

It might be the right time for the other team, but not his own. If that’s the case, you don’t want to give the other team any momentum, so you don’t participate, now matter how hard they try to get you to.

It’s no secret Lappy is one of my favorite people. I got to know him better each season after a sit-down with him for my Positive Sports book when he played in Los Angeles. He just has that way of brightening up a room, and I love that he skates and waves at me when he is out for a pre-game skate.

He is very much a family man, but before the kids, he and his wife Magali (who he started dating at age 15) used to watch movies a lot.

“With the kids, you just can’t go out every night. It was a great time in LA with no kids, but it’s way more fun having kids than going to the movies.”

Kids don’t always understand when dad has travel for work, and leaving them gets more difficult for him with each road trip.

“They know I’m leaving. It’s tough. You talk to them on the phone. They miss you. For sure, that’s the biggest adjustment when dad is on the road quite a bit. It’s a sacrifice everyone has to make. On the other hand, they’re spoiled because of my job. They get everything they need because of my job. My wife understands that. I’m sure the kids, in the future, will understand that, too.”

A few seasons ago, he planned on taking his then five and three year old out for Halloween.

“They love Star Wars. I’ll be Chewbacka. I just need the mask. Maybe I don’t need the mask, I’m hairy enough. (As a kid) Star Wars was my thing. I was into Luke Skywalker. It’s funny my kids love the same thing I loved as a kid.”

Lappy is always the go-to guy in the locker room. It’s doubtful anyone in the NHL can dislike him. He’s always positive and has a way of making everyone else’s day better – even when they fight.

In the meantime, check out this website dedicated to him: http://www.itsallaboutlappy.com/index.html

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