Flyers' Laperriere out indefinitely with postconcussion symptoms

Posted: September 29, 2010

NEWARK, N.J. - Ian Laperriere readily admits he was not completely honest with the Flyers' medical staff last season in the playoffs, itching to skate in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in his 16-year career.

And he doesn't regret his decision to return to the lineup last May, exactly 4 weeks after taking a slap shot to the face in the first round against the Devils.

But Laperriere does regret lying to himself this summer, while he struggled with headaches just doing normal, non-hockey-related activities.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced yesterday that Laperriere will be out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms as a result of that vicious blow to the head in April that required 80 to 100 stitches.

"I was lying to myself more than anybody," Laperriere said in a candid interview. "I always found excuses. I always looked for something to explain my symptoms. I went out there and I had headaches, but it's a hockey game. I would say, 'Maybe I'm dehydrated. I should drink more, maybe I did too much today, maybe I didn't have enough sleep, maybe the dog woke me up' . . . When you want to play, you're always finding excuses."

Sitting in the press box on Friday night in Toronto, Laperriere found that even the bright lights in the arena were bothering him. He knew that's when it was time to tell Holmgren, out of fear for another injury.

Laperriere, 35, said he was in denial all summer about his condition but still returned to play in the first preseason game.

"I know some people are going to judge me on ," Laperriere said. "But they've got to be careful because they're not in my shoes and they'll never be in my shoes. They don't know what I went through all my life just to get there. That's my decision and I'll live with the consequences."

Laperriere will have an MRI done on Friday with a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh.

"There's no doubt in my mind I'm staying out 'til I'm 100 percent," Laperriere said. "What scares me the most is getting hit again, and what am I going to be next? Am I going to be a miserable guy? I don't want to be like that. I want to be myself when I leave this game."

Coach Peter Laviolette said Laperriere's absence on the wing doesn't change how he views veteran Bill Guerin, who is in training camp on a tryout contract.

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