Maxim Lapierre and Lugano decided to part ways. The news certainly has broken many hearts on the shores of the Ceresio lake… and at the same time, it has allowed most of the fans of the other 11 National League’s teams to breath a huge sigh of relief 🙂

The relationship between Maxim Lapierre and Lugano was relatively brief but very, very, intense. Maxim arrived in Ticino for the first time on January 2016… and made his debut with Lugano on January 30th, 2016, in Genève.

And what a debut that was! The Eagles earned a 3-2 overtime win, but Maxim was nevertheless able to score his first goal as a “Bianconero” assisted by Gregory Hofmann and Damien Brunner after 38 minutes and 35 seconds of play.

In the next games, Maxim’s impact was not impressive to be honest. But it was a couple of weeks later, during the playoffs, that everybody saw what Maxim Lapierre was all about. In fact, he played a key role in helping the Bianconeri to win a quarterfinal series for the first time after many years… and then, he helped the Bianconeri to make it all the way to the final – then lost against Bern – for the first time since 2006.

He immediately became the idol of the Tessiner’s fans also thanks to some “out of the line” attitude. But was he a bad guy? Nope, far from that. Let’s face it, he’s got a great “punching-bag face” and his attitude made him a public enemy number one for the other 11 teams… but we seriously don’t recall any nasty foul!

Moreover, Maxim Lapierre is a smart player! And there are proves for that.

Doug Shedden, who was back then the Bianconeri’s coach, asked Lapierre to play defensively and to bring in a lot of emotions. Maxim did it. And at that particular time, it was exactly what Lugano needed.

Then again, Maxim Lapierre proved to be much more than a simple “agitator”. There were, if needed, demonstrations a couple of months later…

Lapierre, at the end of the 2015-16 season, tried his chances to get back to the NHL. But it didn’t work… and so, in October 2016, he came back to Lugano as a hero!

Doug Shedden was still the coach but things were already going south in terms of results. And so, in January 2017, Shedden was fired and replaced by Greg Ireland. The latter assigned Maxim Lapierre a different role… and at that moment, all of Maxim smartness came to light.

And it came to light even more the following season. Maxim Lapierre was assigned a “different” role and turned out to be a player capable of “taking his gloves off” but also to be crucial in terms of points and much more!

He had a fantastic 2017-18 season in Lugano. Maxim Lapierre was even the team’s leading scorer for a long time and, together with a team of warriors, was able to help Lugano make it to the second final in three seasons.

And we move on to game-6 of the 2018 final vs the ZSC Lions… when Lapierre, during the latest stages of the game, was cowardly hit from behind by Fredrik Pettersson. One can almost say that his adventure in Lugano changed after that.

During game-7 of that final series in fact, Maxim Lapierre obviously played with a huge pain… just like many other teammates. And the impression from the outside is that he never totally recovered during last season. And the result is that he wasn’t able to be as much incisive as the year before.

However, we personally would always want a guy like him in our team.

Maxim Lapierre in fact, is a player who proved to give always the 200% for the jersey he wears. A player capable of playing “hard” (but fair) but also capable of playing in a more offensive way and capable of scoring important points. A player who follows to the letter his coach’s guidelines. A player very strong in the slot, where he was always a tough nut to crack for the opponents. A player who wins almost all the battles and a player who is able to make that kind of plays that are “invisible to the most” (like keeping the puck possession in the offensive zone in order to allow his teammates to change line) that are priceless.

Maxim is certainly not among the most talented players of the world when it comes to stickhandling skills, and he’s not really a sniper… but he can read the game well and can play in any position as a forward also thanks to his ability to win face-offs. He’s a great penalty killer and he can even play a good role during power-play opportunities.

Moreover, last but not least, he’s a leader on and off the ice. His body language speaks for himself. It was furthermore also very interesting to note how, during the games, he was talking to teammates on the bench in order to push them to give it the 100%!

Perhaps all these attitudes were not well perceived by everybody.

Let us not forget, finally, that Maxim Lapierre is a real “playoffs animal” and becomes quite fast a fans’ favourite as much as a player who can drive the opponents nuts. His trash talking is both a blessing and a curse. We mean, this player is anything but ordinary. A player that many, way too many people, defined a “buffoon”. Wrongly so, in our opinion.

We think that the National League will be “poorer”. Because it doesn’t really matter if you loved him or “hated” him… Maxim Lapierre is, one way or another, a player who has left his mark in Switzerland!

Good luck for your career in Berlin, Maxim!

MAXIM LAPIERRE IN SWITZERLAND

Games: 175

Goals: 48

Assists: 72

Points: 120

National League debut

30.01.2016 – Genève Servette vs HC Lugano 3-2 (OT)

First National League goal

30.01.2016 – Genève Servette vs HC Lugano 3-2 (OT)

Goal Maxim Lapierre (00:44)

First National League assist

06.02.2016 – HC Davos vs HC Lugano 6-3

Assist Maxim Lapierre (01:30)

Last National League game

16.03.2019 – HC Lugano vs EV Zug 4-5 (OT)

Last National League goal

16.03.2019 – HC Lugano vs EV Zug 4-5 (OT)

Goal Maxim Lapierre (01:57)

Last National League assist

12.03.2019 – HC Lugano vs EV Zug 1-5

Assist Maxim Lapierre (03:07)

TRIVIA MAXIM LAPIERRE

* Maxim Lapierre made his NHL debut on November 15th, 2005, with the Montreal Canadiens in a game versus the Florida Panthers.

* Maxim Lapierre played almost 700 NHL games. During which he tallied 154 points and collected 730 penalty minutes. He scored his first NHL goal on February 14th, 2006, when he was a “Canadiens” and was playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Two days earlier instead, on february 12th, 2006, he had had his first point in a game Montreal Canadiens vs Boston Bruins.

* Maxim Lapierre’s first team in Europe was MoDo in Sweden, who he joined for the 2015-16 season. To note that MoDo’s coach back at the time was Larry Huras… and that Maxim Lapierre (19 points in 34 games) played alongside a couple of players we know quite well over here in Switzerland. We’re talking about Joel Kwiatkowski (former Bern and Fribourg Gottéron), Byron Ritchie (former Bern) and Ilari Filippula (former Lugano).

* Maxim Lapierre joined the Eisbären Berlin… whose new coach is Serge Aubin. The latter is a former player of Genève Servette and Fribourg Gottéron other than former coach of the ZSC Lions. To note, moreover, that James Sheppard will be one of his teammates. James is a former Kloten player, he spent two seasons in Zürich between 2015 and 2017.

MAXIM LAPIERRE CAREER STATS

VIDEOS

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