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Getting to Know: Max Talbot

by Ryan Simmons / Colorado Avalanche
Maxime Talbot was an eighth-round pick (234th overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut against the New Jersey Devils in the 2005-2006 season and was a member of the Penguins' 2009 Stanley Cup-winning team, with his two-goal effort in the deciding game making him a fan favorite. He signed a five-year deal as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2011 offseason and was traded to the Avalanche on Oct. 31, 2013. He has been a pivotal part of the Avalanche’s improved penalty-kill unit in his time in Denver. He recently sat down with

Do you have a favorite pregame meal?

“Everything that my fiancée makes me ... Usually chicken, quinoa and a kale salad.”

Do you have any superstitions on game days?

“Just a routine. It’s about dressing up from the right to the left, and there are a couple things on the ice that just became normal for me, but I guess you can call them superstitions.”

Who was your favorite player growing up and why?

“Patrick Roy? (Laughs). When I was in Pittsburgh I used to say, 'Mario Lemieux.' (Laughs). But, no, I’d probably say Mario Lemieux. I loved watching him. He was a great player and a great man.”

When you’re not on the ice what do you do for entertainment?

“I like to go to the movies. I like to watch different movies and TV shows. I just like to relax.”

When you were traded to the Avalanche it was the first time you had been traded in your NHL career. Can you describe that experience?

“A little bit overwhelming to start. You get the phone call and then three hours later you need to be at the airport to meet the team in a new city. Your fiancée is back home seven months pregnant, and she’s got to pack the house and sell the house. But after a week or two being with a new team the routine comes back to normal, and you can adjust quite easily.”

How do you like Denver?

“I’ve been loving it. I love everything about it: I love the scenery, the mountains, the altitude, love the building and love this team.”

Speaking of your fiancée, she's Cynthia Phanuef, a recently retired figure skater. Who’s better on skates?

“She is by far. We are expecting a kid right now, and I’ll tell you I won’t be the one teaching them how to skate.”

How did you two meet?

“Through a common friend, a common message therapist, who is a friend of ours, and we just went for a drink one night.”

How did you spend your day with the Stanley Cup?

“July 31, 2009--one of the best days of my life. It was great. It was a quick 24 hours, but in the morning I had a 300-person brunch for family and friends. In the afternoon we did a big parade in my hometown (LeMoyne, Quebec). We had 10,000 people and raised about $15,000 for Children’s Wish Foundation International. I then spent some time with the family and later that night we had a 400-person private party with old coaches and others who helped me get to where I am. We had a couple bands playing. It was a good time."

You have always been a strong part of your team’s penalty-killing lineups. Is that an aspect of your game that you try to focus on?

“Well, you have to. You have to focus on that when you’re being called for. It’s an important aspect of the game. We always say that special teams will win us some games and some championships, so if you can always be plus-one or plus-two in the special teams, it’s going to be huge in the end. It’s not just having a good power play. You need a good PK, too.”
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