"Getting to Know...Quinn Talmadge" by L. Anne Carrington
Getting to Know...Quinn Talmadge by L. Anne Carrington
Quinn Talmadge is described by many as a nice guy, true leader, ambassador for the great sport of hockey, amazing athlete, and among the most accomplished players in the American Hockey Conference (AHC).
Still in his twenties, Quinn racked up many hockey-related awards and accolades since his early teens. He’s currently the Pittsburgh Rebels’ team captain, a position once held by his equally famous father, Troy. His mother, Alex Galloway Ivanka Talmadge, is best known as the first female player to succeed in a once all-male AHC. She and Troy now own the Pittsburgh Rebels' franchise.
Family members, friends, and other associates sat down to discuss Quinn Talmadge both in and away from the spotlight, his many accomplishments, early hockey roots, and glimpses into his personal life.
Alex Talmadge (mother): Anna Ivanka is my daughter from a previous marriage, but Troy always treated her like his own. We both wanted children together and were elated when I became pregnant with Quinn.
Troy and I had been visiting his family in Nova Scotia when I was rushed to Yarmouth Regional Hospital at 30 weeks with high blood pressure and symptoms of toxemia. Quinn was delivered via C-section and no one expected him to survive. I’m still amazed how my three-pound baby fighting for his life gradually metamorphosed into a six-foot, two-hundred pound young man in excellent health.
Quinn was named after both his grandfathers; my father Quinn Galloway, a Scottish immigrant who passed away when I was 18, and Parker Talmadge, Troy’s dad.
Anna Ivanka (older half-sister): He was a beautiful baby with Troy’s near-black hair and Mom’s violet eyes. His first words were “Daddy” and “hockey.” I remember Quinn and I playing in the basement while our nanny did laundry nearby when he was about sixteen months old. He spied some of Troy’s hockey sticks against a wall, kept saying “hockey,” and wanted to play with them. The nanny got nervous and tried to keep Quinn away from Troy’s sticks, but he kept crawling back over where they were. Troy came downstairs at one point and saw what Quinn was doing. A big grin appeared on his face and he said to Quinn, “You’ll need to learn how to skate before you can use those, buddy, but first let’s get you walking.”
Troy Talmadge (father): Quinn made no attempt to walk for a long time, which concerned Al and me. We thought the doctors missed some type of trauma resulting from his premature birth, but the pediatrician reassured Al she had no reason to worry since he’d developed normally in other areas. He finally walked at eighteen months. One would never connect his current on-ice speed with being a late walker (laughs).
My dad taught me to skate and shoot pucks when I was three years old. I first put Quinn in skates a few months before his second birthday, and his feet eventually became perfectly aligned while other kids his age still wobbled on ice. He started shooting pucks off the boards at age three. About a couple years later, he played on peewee teams sponsored by local businesses. When Quinn turned 14, several midget leagues started sending me and Al requests to have him on their teams. He was always the youngest and smallest player, but Dad and I always assured Quinn he’d make a better standout at his size. All our kids attended St. Robinson’s-Twin Lakes Academy - better known as St. Rob’s - and their hockey program expressed great interest in recruiting Quinn during his freshman year.
Alex Talmadge: He became so obsessed with playing hockey that some of the St. Rob’s faculty grew worried and contacted us. I encouraged Quinn to try other activities, but outside of occasional dabbling in photography, hockey’s the only thing that held his long-term interest. He also carried a heavy load of AP (Advanced Placement) classes and earned top grades. Several colleges and universities expressed interest, but the Atlantic Canadian Junior Hockey League [ACJHL] drafted Quinn before he had the opportunity to choose a school.
Anna Ivanka: He didn’t even start dating until junior year because his life revolved around hockey and studying. He was still in the awkward stage and too shy to approach girls before meeting his first serious girlfriend after a St. Rob’s game. They dated until after junior prom and then Quinn resumed focusing only on hockey until he met April.
Noémie Talmadge (younger sister): Quinn came home one night acting silly after hanging out with some of his friends. Mom first suspected he’d been drinking and about to yell when he told us, “I finally found a nice girl.” No one was enthused about the idea of him having a new girlfriend until he brought home April to meet us. I couldn’t believe how cute and sweet she was. We all liked her right away, especially Mom. When Anna visited from Prague, she and April became instant friends.
Alex Talmadge: April was - and is - lovely, always supportive of Quinn and his career from day one. To my and Troy’s surprise, she knew most hockey terminology and an excellent conversationalist once we got her talking.
Anna Ivanka: Some couples meet ‘cute’ like Mom and Troy did, but a near-tragedy brought together Quinn and April.
Phil O’Freel (Quinn’s best friend): A group from the St. Rob’s hockey team went to celebrate at our favorite pizza joint one Friday night after advancing to the championship finals. Quinn had “sworn off women” after [ex-girlfriend] Chanel dumped him, saying hockey gave him less headaches. He, Trevor, Connor, Jay, and I were goofing off while eating pizza and mozzarella sticks. Quinn started choking; we thought he was messing with our heads until he started panicking and gesturing. Naturally, we all freaked because none of us could stop the choking. A girl sitting at another table saw what was happening and rushed over to help.
Jay Gold (Quinn’s friend): April Stephens. We’d seen her around school and she’s close friends with Lesley and Tamar. Phil, Trevor, Connor, and I never paid much attention to April because...well, at the risk of sounding mean, she was short and too heavy, not exactly our type of girl.
Trevor St. Cloud (Quinn’s friend): Until the choking incident, she and Quinn didn’t talk much at school beyond “Hi” and “How you doing?”, even though they had several AP classes together. I think being shy had something to do with it, because he liked all kinds of girls.
Connor Williams (Quinn’s friend): Particularly short, curvy girls with dark hair and big-
Phil O’Freel: Stop right there, Williams; there are ladies present. April managed to get behind Quinn and flawlessly performed the Heimlich maneuver. A chewed mozzarella stick dislodged from his throat and flew across the room. He told us about life flashing before his eyes. He then spotted April and asked, “Did I die and go to a place in heaven full of pretty girls?” The comment sounded corny as hell, but it made her blush and laugh.
April Stephens (Quinn’s girlfriend): After Quinn coughed up the mozzarella, I offered some water and asked if he was okay. He gave me a dreamy look with those big violet eyes and said, “I am now.” He was nice but started acting goofy after I did the Heimlich on him - not obnoxious or anything - but kept looking me over and telling me, “I love brunettes.” He invited me to a party one of his teammates was holding the following weekend. I met his family about two weeks later.
Lesley St. Cloud (April’s friend, Trevor’s sister): April came to school Monday both bemused and animated. She wasn’t popular with guys, so Tamar and I were taken aback when she told us about Quinn asking her to a party after she’d saved him from choking at the pizza place. Quinn could barely say hello to a girl without blushing, let alone ask one on a date right away.
Tamar O’Freel (April’s friend, Phil’s twin sister): April didn’t understand why a good-looking, well-liked athlete such as Quinn asked her to be his date; she tended to be standoffish around boys after one pulled a cruel joke on her after she transferred to St. Rob’s. She told me and Lesley about hesitating to accept Quinn’s invitation, but didn’t want to appear rude. I assured April Quinn wasn’t like a lot of other jocks and she wouldn’t regret going out with him.
April Stephens: Tamar turned out to be right. Quinn and I have been together since.
Alex Talmadge: Quinn and April started dating a year before he left for Newfoundland. The transition was difficult for both, but thank goodness for the Internet. They had Skype sessions every night following his games and he called her every weekend. He sent little presents during hockey season because he missed her. Quinn’s teammates often expressed admiration about his never cheating on April. To be honest, I think he was too focused on his ACJHL career to consider straying.
Noémie Talmadge: He and April were always kissy-face on Skype when he played in the ACJHL. Nobody minded, though, because April’s always been a positive influence on Quinn.
Troy Talmadge: The ACJHL’s Newfoundland Newfies drafted Quinn about two weeks before he graduated high school. Al and I were uneasy about him heading to Canada alone at such a young age, but Quinn handled everything well, finishing his rookie year with 77 goals and 81 assists over 70 games. He received the ACJHL Honors Trophy as the league's leading point scorer. also scored a combined 232 regular season and playoff points, which led the Newfies to a Maritimer Cup championship. He was the team’s Player of the Week six weeks in a row, ACJHL’s Star of the Month three times, and named the league’s Personality of the Year.
Noémie Talmadge: Dad won’t admit it, but he cried at the awards ceremony. We were all proud of Quinn’s accomplishments! Maybe I’m biased, but I knew early my big brother would have a successful hockey career.
Troy Talmadge: I did not cry, Pickle. Quinn played with the Newfies for two seasons before he caught the AHC’s attention. They’d listed him first overall in the AHC Worldwide Scouting Union prospect rankings. Our [Rebels] General Manager pushed us to bring him to the team. Al wasn’t keen on the idea at first; she expressed concern people would think Quinn made the Rebels because he was our son and not on his own merit. Turned out the Rebels landed a top spot in the AHC’s draft lottery and our GM snagged Quinn anyway.
Alex Talmadge: Quinn made his AHC debut at the Rebels’ season opener against the Philadelphia Liberty. He’d sent game videos when he played in Newfoundland, but nothing made me prouder than seeing my baby boy in an American professional league at barely twenty years old skating alongside his father!
Troy Talmadge: He registered his first goal assist that night and his first goal a week later against the Washington Presidents. Quinn and I were the first father-son pair in the AHC to play on the same team, but I was forced to retire after playing only 21 games that season.
Gary Greenwood (Rebels General Manager): Troy had chest pains off and on during a game against the Cleveland Clippers. Quinn alerted me during second intermission what was happening with his dad, but said nothing to Alex because he didn’t want to worry her. Troy blew off the pains as indigestion from eating spicy food earlier in the day and somehow scored a hat trick that night. I finally told Alex what was happening; she and I insisted Troy go to the hospital after the game. Good thing he listened to us for once, because he came close to having a full-blown heart attack.
Troy Talmadge: I’m surrounded by people who worry too much. Anyway, we hired Ed McCoy as head coach after Dean Barry retired mid-season. Ed’s first order of business was appointing Quinn as one of two alternate captains and received a great deal of aggravation from many hockey analysts. A few pointed out Quinn lacked experience for such a position, but Ed refused to back down. “How can the boy gain experience if no one gives him a chance?” Needless to say, Ed’s gamble paid off despite the Rebels still finishing last in our division that year.
Ed McCoy (Rebels head coach): Quinn dealt with a lot of abuse from other teams’ players and coaches for diving and constantly standing up to officials. People kept forgetting he was a kid fresh from the ACJHL despite growing up with AHC roots. His folks weren’t thrilled with him being the first rookie to earn 100 penalty minutes and 100 points in the same season. They, Gary, and I had many sit-downs with Quinn during his rookie year, but he gradually improved as he matured and became the outstanding young man we see today.
Gary Greenwood: He was also bashful with the media, so we also had our PR people work with him. The engaging and polished Quinn Talmadge seen in front of cameras nowadays is a far cry from the shy kid hiding from reporters often as possible during his entire first season with the Rebels. Meanwhile, Quinn continued to build on his rookie year success in his second season, and we’d drafted a couple top Russian players. The combination of all three’s talents helped raise our team from dead last in our division to fifth place and earned a spot in the Princeton Trophy playoffs. Quinn scored two goals in his playoff debut, but we were eliminated by the Anchorage Eskimos, who went on to be the Princeton Trophy runner-ups. Quinn was promoted to team captain, making him the second youngest captain in AHC history at 21. Troy still holds the record as youngest AHC captain when he was only 19.
Troy Talmadge: Quinn’s no angel on the ice despite his legendary achievements: captaining a Princeton Trophy championship and leading Canada to two Olympic gold medals and three International Hockey championships. He hasn’t forgotten what matters most, which is passion for the game. On a down side, he’s often compared to Al and me, but learned to take everything in stride.
He can be hard to handle, but has a calming effect on teammates. Most other teams don’t have an answer for how Quinn plays with passion and determination. Al says he got both traits from me, but I think he also has a great deal of Mama in him. I speak from experience when I say it’s not easy being the best at something; Quinn worked hard his entire life and has been a hockey crown prince since early adolescence.
Ed McCoy: The Talmadges are parents who don’t insert themselves out of respect to Quinn requesting they don’t. He wants to stand out in his own right and be treated the same as the other players. Some people tend to think his parents owning the Rebels would be a disadvantage for Quinn, but the other Rebels' players only view him as a natural leader.
Gary Greenwood: Fans often call for him to be traded or the “C” insignia ripped from his sweater when things aren’t going well. Quinn has a no-trade clause in his contract; he can ask to go to another team, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. He’s a big part of what sells tickets and drives merchandise sales among other revenues. No smart business person would ask a player who earns our franchise a great deal of money for a trade - it’s ridiculous.
April Stephens: He appears tough to his fan base and the general public, but takes losses hard as if he let down his teammates. He has a competitive nature and hates losing at anything. Quinn always keeps things cool and collected while speaking to the media, then comes home and mopes for hours after a Rebels' defeat. Alex says Troy acted the same way and she left him alone. I also let Quinn have his space until he’s ready to talk.
He knows [common swear words]; otherwise it’s “Hi” and “How you doing?” Quinn’s generally an inquisitive person. Hockey’s no longer his only interest. We’ll go on dates and discuss a wide array of subjects. He’s not big on pop culture stuff, but bring up something like the world history course he took online, photography, or fantasy football and he’ll talk off your ear. He doesn’t party much or make a fool of himself in clubs; his idea of a wild weekend off is either playing pond hockey, watching Netflix in bed, or reading a 600-page novel. He’s human.
Connor Williams: Quinn’s a superstitious dude like his old man, and it applies to his habits on the road. He likes to stretch a lot, usually goes to bed early...and talks in his sleep. If he’s not talking about hockey, it’s usually something to do with his family or April. He’ll blurt something out on occasion and I have no idea what he meant. I keep talking to him, but he never wakes up.
Anna Ivanka: He tapes his own sticks; if someone else already taped them, Quinn will rip off the tape and tape them again. There’s also the five o’clock PB&J sandwich with the crusts cut off, and everything has to be a certain brand. April once told me he won’t even have sex before a game because it may jinx the outcome.
Alex Talmadge: Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Troy had similar habits. He still does and they apparently rubbed off on Quinn.
Ed McCoy: Nobody can complain about his superstitions or eccentric routines, though. I’d like to think a lot of them contributed to Quinn helping the Rebels achieve a great deal of accomplishments. He’s still shy, but it’s not as intense as in his rookie season.
Noémie Talmadge: Men’s Fashion Weekly featured Quinn in a shirtless photo layout when he was twenty-one. I was about twelve at the time and remember him always looking mortified when Mom showed anyone the magazine or made comments about it. I think every female from preteen to grandmothers went crazy over that layout. He’s still embarrassed about it to this day though has no reason to be.
Another time, April dropped by when Quinn wasn’t home and Mom showed her his baby pictures. He came in the door just as April was looking at a picture of him at nineteen months curled up naked on my parents’ bed laughing, his big eyes staring at the camera. His face must have turned twenty shades of red!
Anna Ivanka: My little brother tends to give off virginal auras despite having a girlfriend. Many people are still shocked when they hear him curse and no one can pretend Quinn doesn't have “I still feel bad when I watch porn/masturbate because it feels like all my ancestors in heaven are judging me” vibes.
He may outwardly seem the type to giggle when his hand touches April’s boob, but she jokes how it’s a front and he’s far from shy behind closed doors. I’m not surprised; since it's one of the few places Quinn can be himself, he’s likely a little freak in the bedroom. None of my business, though.
April Stephens: Definitely none of your business, Anna. Quinn and I often playfully tease one another, but sometimes I want to hug him so hard and not let go when people make fun of him or criticize almost every aspect of his career. How much is one man suppose to take? There are times I think life has it out for him and he doesn't deserve that. He's a good person, doesn’t hurt a soul, and minds his own business. I can’t understand why people want to treat him bad.
Jay Gold: One of hockey’s greatest mysteries. People try to actively hurt Quinn both physically and emotionally. He’s taken so much shit since coming to the AHC and was out for a considerable amount of time with serious concussion symptoms a few seasons ago. Any other guy could break a toe and no one would think nothing of it, but let Quinn get a head injury or broken jaw and the whole “He’s faking to get out of such and such” speculations start. How does one fake a concussion or broken jaw? Contrary to popular belief, Quinn isn’t a wimp; he’s too dedicated to the game to fake injuries for time off. All he has to do is ask for down time if and when he needs it.
Phil O’Freel: One of my favorite Quinn stories is the time he invited a bunch of us to a Rebels' game. Shane Marcos of the Philadelphia Liberty kept heckling Quinn from the bench before face-offs. He yelled every nasty name in the book and told Quinn that he was an overrated little shit. Quinn won the face-offs and set teammates up for slap shots near the blue line. When he eventually came face to face with Marcos, Quinn said he was going to win another face-off and take the puck himself for a goal. Sure enough, Quinn took possession and scored. When the red light lit up, Quinn flipped off Marcos from the goal post. We almost died laughing from seeing what would become a classic Quinn Talmadge moment.
Troy Talmadge: He got that from his mother.
Alex Talmadge: Like hell he did.
Troy Talmadge: We could highlight Quinn’s career and life all day, but know you have limited space. Today was great to sit down and show other facets of our son aside from the man most are familiar with seeing. As April said earlier, Quinn’s human. He’s made mistakes and learned from them. I can say, however, that both fans and haters will see a lot more of him in upcoming seasons.
Wow! How interesting to hear from Quinn's family and friends!
Thanks for giving us a glimpse at the character of Quinn from your upcoming book, On Ice: Power Play, Book 2, L. Anne Carrington!
Readers, here is a little more about her new release, which is coming out in mid-2016 by Palm Tree Books...
Quinn Talmadge grew up in the world
of his parents, hockey legends turned Pittsburgh Rebels owners Troy and Alex
Talmadge, while working hard to create his own. He outwardly appears as a
picture of success from adolescence to adulthood: captain of his school’s
hockey team, dating the class beauty, a junior league standout, American Hockey
Conference’s hottest draft pick, and following in his father’s footsteps as the
Beneath the surface, shy and awkward
Quinn deals with the pains of being dumped by his first love, taunts and
intentional attempts made by opponents to injure him, verbal abuse from
teammates’ parents on and off the ice, media scrutiny as “the player with
strange eyes,” and wondering if he’ll end up alone while witnessing teammates
interacting with spouses and significant others.
He then meets April Stephens in an
unconventional manner one night while out with friends, but will a second
chance at love survive the demands of his hockey career?
Excellent! Sounds like a great book! We'll be sure to check it out when it's released! :)
Guest Blogger Bio
L. Anne Carrington is an Amazon bestselling author and freelance
writer/journalist whose previous work covered topics from fiction to news
stories, human interest features, and entertainment reviews. She wrote The
Wrestling Babe Internet column for seven years, a former music reviewer for
Indie Music Stop, former book reviewer for Free Press (an imprint of Simon
and Schuster), and pens several other works which appears in both print and Web
One of her freelance articles, An
Overview of Causes of Hearing Loss and Deafness, was bought by Internet
Broadcasting Systems, a company that co-produced NBCOlympics.com for the 2004
Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics in addition to
being the leading provider of Web sites, content and advertising revenue
solutions to the largest and most successful media companies.
Her acclaimed work in both fiction
and nonfiction include The Cruiserweight series, Billy Kidman: The Shooting
Star, and number one hockey best seller Power Play.
She resides in the Greater
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/L.-Anne-Carrington/e/B0055STQL6/
L. Anne Carrington's Books:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/L.-Anne-Carrington/e/B0055STQL6/Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4191972.L_Anne_Carrington
Coming Soon (Book two in the Power Play Series):
Books in The Cruiserweight Series: