Former Flyers forward – and current Director of Player Development – Ian Laperrière is taking part in the IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant North American Championship in Quebec on August 18. He spoke with Flyers Faithful about the event, his training, this year’s Flyers development camp, and the team’s chances this coming season.
Kim Pollock: Could you explain what exactly the IRONMAN competition is?
Ian Laperrière: An IRONMAN is an ultra triathalon that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and concludes with a full marathon (26.2 miles).
KP: What inspired you to get involved?
IL: In my career, I crossed paths with triatheletes, and I have friends here in Philly that dragged me into the sport. I was looking for something to train for that I could raise money for great causes at the same time.
KP: What kind of training have you been doing in order to prepare yourself for IRONMAN?
IL: For the past six months, I’ve been running four times, biking three times, and swimming three times a week. I average fourteen hours a week of cardio. This is totally different training from what I’m used to with hockey.
KP: Have you ever participated in an event like IRONMAN before?
IL: No. For part of my training, I did the Mont-Tremblant Half IRONMAN last month.
KP: What charities/organizations are you currently fundraising for?
IL: The IRONMAN Foundation, as well as the Ronald McDonald House, the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, and Go4theGoal Foundation-Tunes4Teens and Unstoppable.
KP: Could you explain the importance of those charities to you?
IL: The pancreatic cancer cause is close to my heart. That disease took my dad ten years ago, and I’d like to help raise awareness of this awful disease. And for the other foundations, the money will go to kids in and their families in different ways, from iTunes cards to toys. The more money we raise, the more we can help.
KP: Can you discuss this year’s Flyers development camp?
IL: This year, I changed the concept a little bit, with taking the scrimmages out and focusing on our prospects only. With two groups of fifteen players and six coaches on the ice, we had more time to focus on players that way. We also focused on off-ice situations that those young adults will be facing soon, like living on their own, grocery shopping, cooking, dangers of the Internet/Twitter, and we focused on leadership with an ex-special forces veteran.
KP: Were there any players who particularly stuck out to you?
IL: I really liked the 2013 draftees, maybe because it was the first time I could see and work with them. And I was very pleased by our AHL veterans. They were a huge help during the week.
KP: With the acquisition of players like Lecavalier, Streit, and Emery, plus the return of healthy players, do you think the Flyers have all the pieces to make a Cup run?
IL: I really like our team. A lot of veteran leadership was added this summer and I think our young players are going to learn a lot from them. The thing I love about our organization is that we will do whatever it takes to win every year.
You can donate to Lappy’s team, Tri Team for Good, here. So far, they’ve raised almost 70% of their $10,000 goal.