Ian Laperriere on Wayne Simmonds and hurt feelings

In pro wrestling terms it was a classic heel turn. The babyface (good guy) loved by millions, says something ever so casual – yet instantly turns off his longtime admirers.

This one is going to be pretty simple to follow…

And with those few little sentences, Wayne Simmonds turned from a guy who was universally loved by hockey fans in LA into public enemy number one back in December.

Having played in both cities himself, when I spoke with Ian Laperriere a few days ago, I asked him for his take on the situation…

“I know exactly what he means by that,” Lappy began. “The Kings do have their core fans. I have a lot of respect for them. But, the thing is, LA is such a big town. Philly is a lot smaller and all of the four (major) sports (venues) are pretty much in the same area. It’s different, it’s totally different. Both teams have great fans. I didn’t talk to Wayne about it and it went under the radar here in Philly, nobody really talked about it. But, I know for a fact that he didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. He just meant that in Philly – like we have tailgating every game, it doesn’t matter what sport, they’re hardcore fans. In LA it’s such a wide town, people are so spread out, it’s tough to have that identity there.”

Lappy’s right on this one. LA loves winners. When the Lakers are winning, this is their town. When the Dodgers are winning, this is their town. In 1993 when the Kings went to the Stanley Cup Finals, this was their town.

On a nightly basis, season after season though, the Kings don’t ‘own’ LA with the same fervor the Flyers do in Philly.

Here’s a good litmus test you can use to determine if you live in a good hockey town. And this applies to any NHL city. Walk into the local bar on a Saturday night and see if they have the game on (featuring your hometown team). If they don’t, you’re not off to a good start. When you request they turn it on, if they ask you what channel it’s on…case closed.

Some day in the future, the Kings will make a deep playoff run again. Many will be surprised how much of a hockey town LA can be. Until then, the team isn’t getting top billing on most nights – even with a packed house for every game.

So, back to Simmonds. What’s Lappy’s take on the season he’s having, including already netting a career-high 22 goals?

“Wayne’s been playing unbelievable. It’s nothing flashy. He does his dirty work, but he puts the puck in the net. He’s physical, he’s tough and he made a name for himself right away by fighting a couple of the big boys in the East. He did really well, so he’s made a lot of room for himself on the ice.”

Now, go back and watch the video again. He wasn’t calling out Kings fans for being inferior to Flyers fans. He simply said Philly is a great hockey town.

Guess what? It is.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Flyers Ian Laperriere on the newest King, Jeff Carter

Mike Richards for Simmonds and Schenn – the trade revisited

Stoll and Martinez talk about the Kings trading Wayne Simmonds

LA players on Simmonds, Flyers and a possible scrap for Clifford

Ian Lapperiere previews tonight’s LA Kings – Flyers game

Morning Skate:  Wayne Simmonds talks about tonight’s match-up with the Kings

Interview with former Kings tough guy (and Flyers legend) Dave ‘the Hammer’ Schultz

Recent Articles

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven on Lombardi, Sutter, Kopitar and Summer Plans

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined host Jonathan Davis on the Two Man Advantage to discuss all the latest happenings surrounding the Los Angeles Kings – including: will Darryl Sutter be coaching the team next season, the future of GM Dean Lombardi, getting production from […]

Jarome Iginla on Trade to LA Kings and What’s Next

Following the completion of today’s NHL Trade Deadline, forward Jarome Iginla held a conference call with the media to discuss being traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Los Angeles Kings.
On if knew he was going to be traded today:
“I talked to Joe and my agent Don, maybe a couple weeks ago. They said […]

Lombardi on Trading for Iginla and Expectations This Season

Following the completion of today’s NHL Trade Deadline, Kings GM Dean Lombardi held a conference call with the media to discuss his team’s acquisition of forward Jarome Iginla.
Lombardi on expectations for Iginla:
“We’re trying to bridge a gap here. It’s tough being in this middle layer, right now at the deadline. You’re caught between that […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Top Two Players Revealed

The wait is over; it's time to reveal the top two players on our 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings. Which player has earned the coveted No. 1 spot? As we finish off this multi-part series, we'll begin with a thank you … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:
  2. Anonymous says:
  3. Anonymous says:
  4. Anonymous says:
  5. Golfnut says:
  6. Anonymous says:
  7. Anonymous says:
  8. Anonymous says:
  9. JefftheRiverRat says:

Trackbacks

  1. […] they say if you get anything more than two NHL players from a draft class, think of it as a bonus. Wayne Simmonds (second round) and Alec Martinez (another fourth rounder) have already solidified their spots from […]