- Chris Rahn, BEARS Staff Writer
Quintin Laing first appeared in a BEARS uniform for the start of the 2006-07 season and was a fan favorite from the start. Fans can rest easy at night knowing that Lainger will be back with the Capitals/BEARS organization for 2009-10.
During his three seasons with the BEARS, Laing won a Calder Cup, returned to the NHL for the first time in four years, and scored his first NHL goal. Even though he suffered a torn spleen in March, Laing recovered in time to help the BEARS to the Calder Cup championship in June.
Quintin was nice enough to sit down with me to talk about hockey, family, his injury, and how he spends the offseason.
Chris Rahn: You tore your spleen on March 19 in your first NHL game of the season and ended up finishing the game. When did you realize there was a problem?
Quintin Laing: Right afterwards I went straight to the hospital. All the symptoms were there of something serious were there. So I went to the hospital and did a CT scan, and they found out right away that is was a pretty serious tear. A few hours later I found out that it was a pretty serious injury and I was going to be out a while, a few months at least.
Chris Rahn: How close to life threatening was the injury?
Quintin Laing: They said that if I would've taken another hit in that area it could have easily started to bleed, or if they wouldn't have picked it up and I played with it the next night or traveled with it, it could have started bleeding again. It was a really serious injury, and I was lucky that the doctors picked up on it right away.
Chris Rahn: After being out for so long, did you expect to come back for the playoffs and play as well as you did?
Quintin Laing: You hope to, and then you have to be realistic. After what the doctors told me in Tampa, I didn't think there was a chance; they told me to get ready for training camp next year. Then I came back here and the doctors had a kind of a different approach, a different view to just take it as it comes, to take a month at a time. They said if it heals up you can go back to playing, but they didn't know for sure when it was going to heal. I was hoping it was going to heal by the time playoffs were over, and I was just lucky that it did heal in time to get back into the playoffs.
Chris Rahn: You spent most of the 2007-08 season in Washington. You spent all season here in Hershey. Is Hunter happy to have a room instead of a closet?
Quintin Laing: Yeah I think he appreciates it. He appreciates having his space. He can put a lot more toys into his room, so I think he likes it a little bit more than being on the 17th floor down in the high-rise down in Washington.
Chris Rahn: You've been a fan favorite everywhere you've played. Did you ever think you'd be this popular when you first turned pro?
Quintin Laing: I think that people appreciate my effort. I try to bring everything I got every game, no matter what time of the year it is. Then when I'm on the ice I just try to do whatever it takes to win. It involves a lot of stuff that you have to sacrifice your body for, people kind of appreciate that.
Chris Rahn: You were on HERSHEY's 2007 team that went to the finals. The 2008-09 BEARS were unbelievable. How great would it be to win your first Calder Cup with the BEARS?
Quintin Laing: There'd be nothing better, nothing more satisfying than that. We were close in '07; that's all you want to do is get back to the finals and have another opportunity, and that opportunity comes tonight. Honestly, since '07 it definitely be a dream come true to win it here
Chris Rahn: What happened to cause you to lose your teeth?
Quintin Laing: It's kind of a long story, but I think it all started when I was 17 and got hit from behind in juniors. It knocked my four front teeth out. I had false ones put in and had them knocked out twice after that and they had to be rebuilt twice. I think 17 was my first game exhibition when it happened. I just got hit from behind into the boards and that's how it happened.
Chris Rahn: Who was your roommate on the road, and how well did that work out for you?
Quintin Laing: Tyler Sloan's my roommate. He's been my roommate for a couple of years. We just kind of got the same schedule on the road, so we've been rooming for so long that we know each other pretty well.
Chris Rahn: How do you normally spend the offseason?
Quintin Laing: Offseason is just back home in Saskatoon doing a lot of visiting, because the aunties, uncles, and grandparents to get to see their grandchildren or nephews to often. So just a lot of family time, as much as we can get.