At 6'3" 225lbs the Boucherville, Quebec born Quintal was big and strong. He was blessed with the proper temperament necessary to succeed as a pounding blue liner. He hit hard and often, and had great strength to clear the slot and win battles in the corner. He was also a willing fighter.
Quintal, like so many young defensemen, struggled early in his career with Boston and even Winnipeg, before settling down in Montreal. By then he had learned to play within his limits, which meant playing a smart positional game that did not expose his lumbering skating. He took up space and waited for the attacking player to commit first.
He rarely attempted low percentage plays and rarely got involved in the neutral zone or on the transition offense. His game plan was simple - puck off the wall and out of the zone, and remain back as the defensive rock. Offensively he had little more than a decent point shot to operate with.
In an ideal world Quintal would be probably a third-pairing defender, but too often in his career he was asked to play top-four minutes too often. When he was paired with a mobile partner, he was fine.
Quintal began his career with the Boston Bruins, who chose him in the first round, 14th overall, during the 1987 draft.
He spent parts of four seasons in Boston - scoring his first NHL goal Oct. 15, 1989, at Vancouver - before he was traded to St. Louis with Craig Janney for Adam Oates on Feb. 7, 1992.
He only spent a year and a half with Blues, getting dealt to Winnipeg with Nelson Emerson for Phil Housley on Sept. 24, 1993.
After two seasons with the Jets, he was traded to the Canadiens for a second-round pick in the 1995 draft (Jason Doig) and was with the Canadiens through the 1998-99 season.
That summer, he signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers, spent the season with them and was claimed off waivers by Chicago on Oct. 5, 2000.
After one year with the Blackhawks, he returned to the Habs four a fourth-round pick in 2001.
On Jan. 6, 2004, he appeared in his 1,000th game, becoming the 193rd player in NHL to reach the milestone. He finished his career with 63 goals, 180 assists and 1,320 penalty minutes in 1,037 games.
"I am extremely proud of my NHL career and what I have been able to accomplish," he said. "I am leaving the game of hockey with a lot of pride and personal satisfaction. I have no regrets, and besides, I was fortunate enough to fulfill the dream I had of playing for the Montreal Canadiens."