Orland Kurtenbach: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born September 7, 1936 (1936-09-07) (age 73),
Cudworth, SASK, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Pro clubs Vancouver Canucks
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Boston Bruins
Career 1954 – 1974

Orland John "Big Kurt" Kurtenbach (born September 7, 1936, in Cudworth, Saskatchewan) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player and coach. A centre notable for his defensive skill and as one of the toughest fighters in the game, he played for several National Hockey League teams during his twenty professional seasons, principally the Vancouver Canucks, with whom he became the NHL franchise's inaugural captain.

Contents

Playing career

Growing up in Saskatchewan, Kurtenbach played junior hockey in the SJHL with the Prince Albert Mintos for two seasons, also making two brief professional appearances with the Saskatoon Quakers of the Western Hockey League during that time. In 1957, after Prince Albert was eliminated from the play-offs, Kurtenbach finished the season with the Flin Flon Bombers, where he helped the team win the Memorial Cup.

In 1957–58, Kurtenbach turned pro, completing his first season with the minor league Vancouver Canucks of the WHL, scoring 54 points in 52 games en route to earning Rookie of the Year honours.

The majority of the Kurtenbach's early professional career would be spent in the minors, splitting time between the AHL with the Buffalo Bisons, Springfield Indians and Providence Reds, and the WHL with the San Francisco Seals and the Canucks. His best season in this stretch was 1962–63, when he notched 87 points for the Seals in 70 games and led the team in scoring in the playoffs en route to winning the league championship.

During his time in the minors, Kurtenbach made two brief appearances in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, totaling eighteen games, but would not play his first full NHL season until 1960–61 with the Bruins. He would stay in the NHL for the remainder of his playing career, and after two full seasons with the Bruins, one season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and four seasons with the New York Rangers, Kurtenbach's career would come full circle as he would play for the Vancouver Canucks once more.

The Canucks, who joined the NHL from the WHL in 1970–71, obtained Kurtenbach in the expansion draft and named him the franchise's first team captain. With Vancouver, Kurtenbach found his niche and tallied career highs in 1971–72 with 61 points in 78 games while showing notable defensive skill. In comparison, his previous best was just 37 points in 70 games during his rookie season. However, plagued by a bad back and other injuries which eroded his playing time and his newly-found scoring skills, after four seasons with the Canucks, Kurtenbach retired.

Kurtenbach finished his NHL career with 119 goals and 213 assists for 332 points in 639 games, adding 628 penalty minutes.

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Awards and achievements

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1954–55 Saskatoon Quakers WHL 1 0 0 0 0
1955–56 Saskatoon Quakers WHL 3 0 0 0 4 2 0 0 0 0
1957–58 Vancouver Canucks WHL 52 15 39 54 58 8 3 3 6 8
1958–59 Buffalo Bisons AHL 70 9 14 23 73 7 0 0 0 0
1959–60 Vancouver Canucks WHL 42 11 27 38 51 11 1 5 6 11
1959–60 Springfield Indians AHL 14 0 6 6 17
1960–61 Vancouver Canucks WHL 55 20 27 47 31
1960–61 New York Rangers NHL 10 0 6 6 2
1961–62 Providence Reds AHL 64 31 33 64 51 3 1 1 2 5
1962–63 San Francisco Seals WHL 70 30 57 87 94 17 4 13 17 51
1963–64 Boston Bruins NHL 70 12 25 37 91
1964–65 Boston Bruins NHL 64 6 20 26 86
1965–66 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 9 6 15 54 4 0 0 0 20
1966–67 New York Rangers NHL 60 11 25 36 58 3 0 2 2 0
1967–68 New York Rangers NHL 73 15 20 35 82 6 1 0 1 26
1968–69 Omaha Knights CHL 1 0 0 0 0
1968–69 New York Rangers NHL 2 0 0 0 2
1969–70 New York Rangers NHL 53 4 10 14 47 6 1 2 3 24
1969–70 Buffalo Bisons AHL 6 1 5 6 2
1970–71 Vancouver Canucks NHL 52 21 32 53 84
1971–72 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 24 37 61 48
1972–73 Vancouver Canucks NHL 47 9 19 28 38
1973–74 Vancouver Canucks NHL 52 8 13 21 30
NHL totals 639 119 213 332 628 19 2 4 6 70

Coaching career

The season after his NHL retirement, Kurtenbach joined the Seattle Totems of the Central Hockey League, moving behind the bench as head coach. After a losing season with Seattle, he coached two seasons with the Tulsa Oilers of the same league and won a championship in his first season with them, 1975–76, being awarded the Jake Milford Trophy as CHL coach of the year.

In 1976–77, Kurtenbach returned to the NHL to replace Phil Maloney midway through the season as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. This would mark the third time in his playing and coaching career that he would represent Vancouver. However, after one and a half seasons and a 36–62–27 record, Kurtenbach was replaced by Harry Neale at the end of the 1977–78 season. Upon his replacement, Kurtenbach would only return to coaching to represent the Springfield Indians of the AHL in 1982 and the Richmond Sockeyes of the BCHL in 1986 before retiring. In the 1980s and 90's he lived in White Rock, BC and operated a south Surrey, BC golf driving range.

Awards and achievements

  • Jake Milford Trophy (CHL coach of the year) - 1976

External links

Preceded by
New creation
NHL Vancouver Canucks Captains
197174
Succeeded by
André Boudrias

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