VOORHEES, N.J. -- On the eve of his debut as a television color analyst, Ian Laperriere wasn't admitting to any nerves. He'll join play-by-play guy Brian Smith to call Friday's Outdoor Classic between Adirondack and Hershey at Citizens Bank Park.
"I'll call it like it is and I'll be myself," Laperriere said Thursday. "I'm anxious more than nervous, to tell you the truth. You talk hockey, talk hockey. I can do that all day."
The game will be televised live in the Mid-Atlantic region on The Comcast Network and throughout Canada on Rogers Sportsnet. Itwill be replayed across the United States on the NHL Network on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Those are high stakes for a debut, but Laperriere's not sweating it.
"Worse that can happen, I'll be brutal out there and people can laugh at me," Laperriere said.
Somehow, we think no one will be laughing at the former Flyers tough guy and winner of last year's Masterton Award, which is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport. Post-concussion syndrome ended Laperriere's playing career two seasons ago.
Laperriere said he'll draw from his knowledge of the Phantoms players for his analysis. He serves as a mentor to many of them and works extensively with the prospects in summer.
"I pretty much know those guys individually and what kind of players they are," Laperriere said. "It's more the Hershey side that I have to do some research a little bit."