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DROP THE GLOVES! Flyers’ last rookie practice includes fighting clinic



Ian Laperriere, Philadelphia Flyers
Ian Laperriere (left), shown when he coached with Alain Vigneault (right) on the Philadelphia Flyers, wants the players to be able to defend themselves.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ last day of rookie camp Sunday included a clinic not usually seen in today’s NHL.

In the spirit of Dave Schultz and other Flyers from the past, player development coach Chris Stewart taught his players the art of fighting.

Phantoms coach Ian Laperriere, who ran the four-day rookie camp, said he doesn’t believe in fighting, but the players need to be prepared in case it happens.

He lauded Stewart’s fighting ability when he played.

“Stewie’s an old teammate of mine,” he told reporters, referring to their days with the Colorado Avalanche. “I played with him when he was 18 years old and I love the guy. He was a really good hockey player, but I know he was really good at doing that (fighting). So I grabbed him before practice.”

He told Stewart, 34: “I wouldn’t mind if you come on the ice.”

Stewart. who had 160 goals and 750 penalty minutes in in 668 career NHL games, complied.

“I’m not a dinosaur. I know it’s 2022 hockey, but it’s still part of the game,” Laperriere said.

The man known as “Lappy” talked about Friday’s rookie game and a situation involving Philadelphia Flyers prospect Adam Ginning in their 2-1 overtime win over the New York Rangers.

Ginning “had a big hit … and somebody jumped him,” Laperriere said. “He didn’t know what to do. He had one glove on, one glove off. I told those kids, ‘You should go and chat with Stewie. Ask him questions. He knows more than all of us.’ ”

Laperriere told the players: “If you get in that situation, we want you to be physical. You don’t have to fight. I don’t believe in fighting in hockey anymore, but it does happen. So better be safe than sorry; at least you’ll know how to protect yourself.”

Added Laperriere: “Obviously, they listen, because I think we had 20 guys in the corner with Stewie. It’s going to help them, and then also knowing how to defend yourself. You don’t need to change your style.”


Kjell Samuelsson, the Flyers’ director of player development, said defenseman Emil Andrae is expected to play Thursday in the Swedish Hockey League. The highly regarded Flyers defensive prospect took a puck to the face in a preseason game Wednesday. … Laperriere on Noah Cates: “I don’t think I’ll see him (with the Phantoms), I’ll be honest with you.” He said the left winger is “out to prove to everyone that he belongs with the Flyers.”

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