Biography of Ian Laperriere
The 1996-97 season marked Ian's first full season in the NHL and with Los Angeles. As a King, he became an instant fan favorite with his gritty style of play. That season, he played 62 games and scored 23 points. He finished third on the team with 102 penalty minutes. He was named the club's Best Defensive Player in a vote by the local media, the Most Inspirational in a vote by his teammates, and Most Popular Player (with Dan Bylsma) in a vote by the Kings Booster Club. He had shoulder surgery in March.
In 1997-98, Ian scored 21 points in 77 games and helped the Kings improve 20 points to make the playoffs for the first time in five years. He ranked second on the team in faceoff win percentage at 52.3% and he also led the team with 198 hits. He had a four-game point streak from October 15 to 21 (1g/3a). He played in his 200th NHL game on December 6 at Toronto and his 100th game as a King on December 4 at Ottawa. That year, he also won his second straight Kings' Defensive Player award. In the playoffs, Ian scored one goal in four games in an opening-round loss to the Blues.
During the 1998-99 season, Ian scored 13 points and finished second on the team with 138 penalty minutes. He registered his 100th NHL point with an assist April 11 at Dallas. He played in his 300th career NHL game on March 3 at Anaheim. At year's end, he was named the Kings' Best Defensive Player for the third straight season. Ian and Magali were married on June 26, 1999.
Ian scored 22 points in 1999-2000 and led the Kings with 185 penalty minutes, a career-high. He led the league with 21 major penalties. At year's end, he was named the Kings' Most Popular Player. Ian played four games in an opening-round loss to the Red Wings. He underwent surgery following the season to repair a torn ACL in his left knee.
In 2000-01, Ian scored 18 points and led all team forwards with 209 hits as the Kings finished third in their division. He ranked second on the Kings in penalty minutes with 141. On October 6, Ian played in his 400th NHL game at Washington. One week later on October 13, he scored his first hat trick on three shots in a 5-0 victory over the Bruins. He was once again named both the Kings' Most Popular Player by the Kings Booster Club and Most Inspirational Player in a vote by his teammates. In the playoffs, Ian recorded three points and 12 penalty minutes in 13 games as the Kings reached the second round before losing to the Avalanche.
During the 2001-02 season, Ian played 81 games and scored 22 points. He led the team with 125 penalty minutes and 213 hits. He also scored a career-high three game-winning goals. On December 22, Ian was stopped on a penalty shot by the Canadiens' Jose Theodore. On March 16, he scored his 100th career assist versus Pittsburgh. In the playoffs, Ian scored one assist and collected nine penalty minutes in seven games in an opening-round loss to the Avalanche. On March 25, Ian and Magali's first son Tristan was born.