Ian “Lappy” Laperriere, a unique ice hockey player, will have to retire prematurely. The thirty six year old Philadelphia Flyer right winger took his job seriously. Never backing down from a fight, his nose is bent into a “C” shape. Shooting on the goal net, fights and blocking shots are what he lived for. He also had a penchant for blocking slap shots with his face, doing this two times since joining the Philadelphia Flyers. That all changed on April 22, 2010.
The Flyers, playing game five of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey against the New Jersey Devils were winning three to nothing in the third period. With fifteen minutes and four seconds remaining in the game, Ian went down to block a slap shot fired by Devils player, Paul Martin. The shot hit Ian just above his right eye. Seeing the amount of blood on the ice, knowing where the puck ricocheted off his face, common consensus was, “Lappy lost his eye”.
I felt like the game was going in slow motion waiting to hear what the injury really was. The announcers could only tell us that Lappy didn’t lose his eye, however, he took another one hundred stitches to his face. Earlier in the season he took a slap shot to the mouth, which earned him seventy stitches and seven lost teeth. The current injury was far worse.
Morning newspapers printed pictures of Lappy holding his hands to his eyes. He said he asked the trainer, “is my eye still there?” Medical reports stated that Lappy received a concussion and fractured his orbital bone.
A concussion is a serious injury caused by a sudden blow to the head. It temporarily prevents the brain from working normally. It is possible that repeated concussions may require surgery or lead to long-lasting problems with movement, learning, or speaking. Lappy’s concussion was severe yet he came back after a few weeks to play the rest of the playoffs. After taking the Summer off he...
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