Calgary Dinos Proved to be Perfect Fit for Quinn
Brian Swane, Special to Canada West
Barely into adulthood, Doug Quinn had already soured on the
game he grew up loving.
The Western Hockey League standout lost his a ection for
hockey somewhere in the wreckage of a terrible car accident
that shattered his femur and broke several bones in his back,
e ectively ending the then 19-year-old’s NHL dreams in cruelly
So disheartened was Quinn that there were moments he
seriously considered walking away from the rink and hanging up
his skates for good.
Instead, he stepped onto the campus of the University of Calgary
and pulled on a Dinos jersey.
“Almost immediately I found a passion for the game again and
enjoyed every minute of it,” Quinn says.
A 1983 pick of the Vancouver Canucks, Quinn played ve seasons
with the U of C men’s hockey team between 1986 and 1991,
helping the Dinos win a pair of Canada West titles and capturing
a slew of individual honours, all while receiving a post-secondary
education that helped shape the successful business owneroperator
of Q2 Arti cial Lift Services that he is today.
“I was planning initially to play hockey as a career, and I was at a
certain level when I got drafted and then after breaking my leg it
took me a few years to get back to the level similar to what I had
before, so it wasn’t fun,” the Red Deer native says.
“Once I went back to university, I just really enjoyed the
environment, enjoyed the people I was playing with (and) the
coaches. They made it a real great experience for me.”
With the six-foot-two Quinn anchoring its blueline and a sta
that at various points included future NHL head coaches Willie
Desjardins, Mike Johnston and George Kingston, Calgary won
Canada West titles in 1988 and 1990. Quinn was an All-Canadian
and received the Mervyn “Red” Dutton Trophy as Canada West
Defenceman of the Year in each of his nal three seasons (1988-
34 CANADA WEST YEARBOOK
89, 1989-90, 1990-91).
“We were just a really good team,” he says. “Some of the best
coaching I ever had was George Kingston, Willie Desjardins and
Mike Johnston. I learned a lot and played with a great group of
“I think when you’re in a comfortable environment and feel good
about who you’re playing with and working towards a common
goal, indirectly you get individual success, so it was a real positive
experience for me.”
Upon graduating from the Calgary with an economics degree
minoring in management, Quinn returned to Red Deer to work
at his father’s oil eld business, the forerunner to Q2. He worked
in various positions, including president, before buying the
company when his father retired about 20 years ago. Today Q2 is
recognized as an industry leader, and its manufacturing facility
has grown to a 66,000 square-foot shop.
“Finishing my education really helped when I moved back
home and moved into the family business,” says Quinn. “Being a
business owner now and looking back at all the people over the
years that have worked for me, I know that getting some kind of
education does make such a di erence in the way people think
The game Quinn almost left called him back again about a
decade ago, when he started coaching the Red Deer Chiefs of the
Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League. Under Quinn’s direction, the
team has reached unprecedented heights, winning its rst two
national championships, back to back, in 2012 and 2013.
“Once I got coaching full-time I fell in love with that part of it and
enjoyed taking a team, building it and helping the kids build,
grow and mature,” Quinn says. “In some ways, I probably like
coaching more than I liked playing.”
The midget players he coaches today aren’t much younger than
Quinn was when he broke into the WHL as a 17-year-old in 1982-
83, playing 55 games with the Nanaimo Islanders and catching
the eye of the Canucks, who drafted Quinn 90th overall following