There are have been highs and lows during the history of the Edmonton Rush. Jimmy Quinlan is the last man standing when it comes to anyone who has seen them all.
The good and the bad, the winning streaks, the losing skids, celebrations, coaching changes, an almost-winless season, and a run to the Champion’s Cup final. Quinlan has been a key figure in the Rush lineup since Day 1, perhaps now more than ever as the team's captain.
As the franchise leader in games played, Quinlan, in many ways, is the Rush through and through, and the local hero to Edmonton’s minor lacrosse community. Never one for long speeches, the Sherwood Park, Alberta, product is a lead-by-example kind of captain.
“I’d say I probably talk even less now,” said the ever-quiet Quinlan prior to the Rush embarking for Rochester and Saturday night’s clash with the Rochester Knighthawks – the team that topped the Rush in the 2012 Champion’s Cup NLL title game.
“We have a good leadership group here. Ryan Ward has really been the guy on offense and at the back end there’s (Kyle) Rubisch, and young guys like (Brett) Mydske, and (Chris) Corbeil. I think we have a good work ethic and good mentality.”
Ward recently bypassed Quinlan as the franchise’s all-time points leader and currently leads the team in scoring. Rubisch, the reigning NLL Defender of the Year, joined Ward and rookie sensation Mark Matthews on the league’s Player of the Week honors list – the first time in Rush history that three players received awards in the same week. Meanwhile, Mydske and Corbeil are part of a stalwart Rush defensive unit that is among the league’s best in both forced turnovers and loose ball collection.
Following a rookie campaign in Toronto with the Rock, the five-foot-11, 190-pounder joined the Rush for their inaugural season and was looked upon for a scoring touch which he often provided with a crash-the-net style. Over time, Quinlan’s role has moved from scoring to defense and transition, but hustle and effort remain his basic approach to the game.
His passion has never strayed as evidenced by his off-season training regimen, a deep desire to win, and even the occasional dust-up to spark his club. The two-time NLL All-Star Game participant has missed just a single game in his Rush career, most famously racing to a matchup in Calgary last season moments after the birth of his first child.
“I’m a guy that will do whatever is asked of me,” offered Quinlan, who has amassed 226 points, 524 loose balls and 175 penalty minutes to date in his nine-year career. “I enjoy the finer details of the game and that’s something I’ve strived to be good at.”