October 7 Camden Courier-Post:
“The Flyers will open their regular season tonight in Pittsburgh burdened by the news that Ian Laperriere’s 15-year career is over.
Laperriere told the Courier-Post on Wednesday that two doctors advised him to retire because of post-concussion symptoms.
The Flyers have not filed retirement papers with the NHL but are expected to offer Laperriere a position with the club.
“If this is it, I had a hell of a run,” Laperriere said. “I played a long time and played a lot of games and met a lot of nice people . . . It is what it is and I wouldn’t change anything.”
Laperriere, 36, visited with Pittsburgh neurosurgeon Joseph Maroon on Friday and it was determined that the puck he took above his right eye in Game 5 of the Flyers’ first-round playoff series against the New Jersey Devils caused nerve damage behind his eye. A Philadelphia doctor confirmed that finding on Monday.
“My eyesight is 20/20 on one side and 20/15 on the other,” Laperriere said. “But when I get the lights going and there’s movement around me, my eyes kind of blur and it gets worse and worse and I feel like I’m not myself and that’s the thing that scares me. That’s why I can’t play . . . If I’m not sharp out there, especially with my game, I’m going to get killed.”
Laperriere has two years remaining on his contract with the Flyers with a salary cap hit of $1.166 million. If he retires, his salary will count against the Flyers‘ salary cap for those two years because he signed a contract after he turned 35. For now, the Flyers are keeping Laperriere on injured reserve while they decide whether to place him on long-term injury reserve, which would remove his salary from a cap hit, or announce his retirement.
Even though he played in Philadelphia just one season, Laperriere became a fan favorite and a locker room legend when he twice blocked shots with his face last season. On Nov. 27 he slid in front of a shot by Buffalo Sabres forward Jason Pominville and lost seven teeth. And on April 22 he needed 70 stitches to close a cut above his right eye after blocking a shot by Devils defenseman Paul Martin, now with the Penguins.”
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