Ottawa left winger Brady Tkachuk lost his proverbial mind at the end of a December loss in Philadelphia. He cross-checked Scott Laughton and then jumped on his back. Despite the provocation, Laughton declined to engage in a fight. It was a pretty nasty game, too.
Laughton is this year’s Yanick Dupre Memorial Class Guy Award winner, but the citation has nothing to do with his pacifism that day on the ice. He gladly would have fought Tkachuk, but he was still recovering from a broken finger and dropping the gloves would have been foolish.
“I wanted to, though,” he said with a laugh afterward.
The Dupre award goes to the Flyer best exhibiting character, dignity and respect on and off the ice. It is given by the chapter of the Philadelphia Hockey Writers Association. Laughton had two injuries during the season, but was reliable wherever he was used in the lineup and had his best season with 13 goals and a rating of plus-13.
The Flyers have a clubhouse full of decent guys, so there was no shortage of candidates. My vote went to backup goalie Brian Elliott, especially for the way he supported and mentored starter Carter Hart when Hart struggled early in starts on the road.
» From the archives: Les Bowen remembers Yanick Dupre
The award is presented in memory of former Flyer Yanick Dupre, who died in 1997 of leukemia at age 24. It has been handed out since 1977 and previous winners include Bobby Clarke, Mark Recchi, Eric Desjardins, and Jaromir Jagr.