NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 22: Ian Laperriere #14 of the Philadelphia Flyers reacts after being injured in the second period by Colin White #5 of the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center at on April 22, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Continuing with our Year End Awards, it's now time to pick one Unsung Hero of 2010. The nominees...
Ian Laperriere, #14
There's no doubt that Lappy is a hero in all of our minds, and that he'll go down as a legend for what he did in the playoffs last season. This award is for the unsung hero, though, so that's the question we have to ask ourselves here. Is Ian Laperriere an Unsung Hero? You could argue that his role on the team as a bottom-tier forward, a grinder, automatically means he gets less respect than he deserves. We can all agree, though, that Lappy isn't regarded in the same way as the typical fourth liner.
Jeff Reese, goaltender coach
It's possible that without Jeff Reese, the Flyers don't get anywhere last season. He's credited with Michael Leighton's shocking turnaround from waiver reject to Cup Final starter, and his work with Sergei Bobrovsky late this year can't be overlooked either. In his first year and a half as the goalie coach of the Flyers, his work has clearly made an impact.
Darroll Powe, #36
Like Laperriere, Powe's a bottom-tier forward, but he doesn't exactly get the same kind of mainstream love that Lappy does. In 2009, an entire story was written in the Philadelphia Metro paper about Darroll Powe, the defenseman. Kinda says it all right there, doesn't it?
Blair Betts, #11
The story is the same for Betts, who despite being a versatile cog in the Flyers penalty killing unit and an important face-off man (although that role has diminished for him of late), he doesn't get much publicity. He just goes about his business as a fourth-liner, rarely making mistakes and putting in useful minutes every single night.
Now, the voting...
Who is the Flyers Unsung Hero of 2010?
Ian Laperriere (328 votes)
Jeff Reese (215 votes)
Darroll Powe (92 votes)
Blair Betts (170 votes)
805 total votes