Midseason Grade: B-
Final Grade: B
Season Stats: 81 GP, 8 G, 21 A, 29 Pt, +5, 118 Shots
Minutes: 1115 total (7th among forwards), EV 11:47, PP 0:20, 1:39 PK
1st Half: 41 GP, 1 G, 11 A, 12 Pts, +4 64 shots
2nd Half: 40 GP, 7 G, 10 A, 17 Pts, +1 54 shots
Positions: RW (78 GP), C (3 GP)
Lines: 3rd (38 GP), 2nd (22), 4th (19), 1st (2)
C: Arnason (56 GP), Richardson (8), McLean (4), Turgeon (3), Stastny (3), Sakic (2), Guite (2)
LW: McLean (37 GP), Richardson (19), Laaksonen (14), Rycroft (4), Wolski (3), Brunette (2), Turgeon (1), May (1)
RW: Rycroft (2), Klee (1)
Career: Laperriere couldn't match his career year of 2005-2006, but did have his 2nd highest season for assists (21) and points (29) as well as matching a career high in plus minus (+5). On March 29th, Laperriere missed his first game as an Avlanche after dressing for 158 straight. He scored his 100th NHL goal on October 29th against the Minnesota Wild.
Report: Last year, 4 other players had multiple fighting majors – Brad May, Bob Boughner, Dan Hinote and Cody McCormick...This year, only McCormick and May remained on the roster, and they combined for just 16 games (and no fighting majors)...That left Laperriere to do all the heavy lifting, and he didn't back down, appearing in 17 of the team's 21 fights...Those 17 majors were 2nd most in the league...Repeatedly went to bat for his teammates, including a fight against Dion Phaneuf on the last day of the season after the defensemen took a run at Tyler Arnason...He saw a big drop off in goals scored from last year – down from 21 to 8 – but actually had a lot of quality scoring chances...May have been the most snake bitten of all Avs, especially in the first half...Behind Richardson and Stastny, he had the third highest minutes on the penalty kill with 134:40...However, he was used very inconsistently, sometimes playing 2 or 3 minutes shorthanded, while other games he'd have almost no time...Obviously isn't afraid of the rough stuff, and his 83 hits were most among Colorado forwards...Not surprisingly, his physical play gets a little reckless at times, and his 24 minor penalties were also tops among forwards on the team...Led Avalanche forwards in blocked shots...Like many of his teammates, is just okay at faceoffs (46.8%)
Fast Fact: The Avalanche lost the first 8 games in which Laperriere had a fighting major, and we're 5-10-2 in such games for the year.
2007-2007 Salary: $1,064,000
2007-2008 Status: Player & Team Option ($1,064,000)
Laperriere has been an extremely useful player during his two years in Colorado. He is the only significant source of muscle on the team, but his penalty killing, forechecking and offensive skill put him head and shoulders above more prototypical goons. He does what it takes on the ice to win, and seems to be equally as valuable in the dressing room. Throw in his ability to play anywhere from the 2nd line back and be a regular contributor and I would be absolutely stunned if the Avalanche did not pick up his option to return next season.