Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks celebrated Orland Kurtenbach Ring of Honour Night, presented by Chevrolet Cruze, throughout the night’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche. Prior to the game, Orland Kurtenbach became the inaugural member of the Ring of Honour where the permanent in-bowl display was unveiled in a pre-game ceremony with Kurtenbach and his family in attendance.
Orland Kurtenbach’s Ring of Honour Night featured an on-ice presentation, a video tribute and the unveiling of a permanent in-arena display. Each fan in attendance received a commemorative Orland Kurtenbach pin as a keepsake from the memorable celebration of one of the franchise’s icons.
Orland Kurtenbach spent part of his young professional hockey career in Vancouver, playing for the Western Hockey League Canucks in the late 1950s. He made his National Hockey League debut in 1960.61 with the New York Rangers and would spend the next nine years with the Rangers, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.
In the 1970 NHL Expansion draft, the newly NHL incepted Canucks used their second selection, fourth overall on Orland Kurtenbach. He was recognized for his leadership qualities and was named the franchise’s first captain.
In his inaugural season, he led all Canucks in points-per-game, registering 53 points (21-32-53) in 52 games played. His scoring would hit its peak with a career year in his sophomore season with the Canucks. He registered 61 points (24-37-61) in 78 games to lead the team in scoring in 1971.72. At the end of that season, he shared the team’s leading scorer Cyrus H. McLean Trophy with winger Andre Boudrias and was awarded the Cyclone Taylor Trophy as the Canucks MVP. He would remain a fan favourite as the team MVP, again receiving the Cyclone Taylor Trophy the following two seasons.
He retired as a player following the 1973.74 season as a result of injuries but returned in the 1976.77 season as Head Coach of the Canucks, coaching 125 games and mentoring young Canucks like Harold Snepsts and Rick Blight.
In addition to his contributions as a player and coach, Orland Kurtenbach has also continued giving back to the franchise through his involvement with the Canucks Alumni.
The Ring of Honour tradition, launched this season, celebrates and salutes Canucks heroes who have made a lasting impact on the franchise. This on-going initiative will see four members inducted this season beginning with Orland Kurtenbach’s induction tonight. As first captain, former Head Coach and an active member of the Canucks Alumni for more than 40 years, Orland Kurtenbach has left a lasting legacy with the Canucks franchise and has been honoured tonight for that legacy.
Ring of Honour candidates are selected by an advisory committee including former player and current Senior Advisor to the General Manager, Stan Smyl, Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster, Jim Robson and former Canucks staff member spanning 30 years, Norm Jewison. The remaining three dates and inductees for the Ring of Honour will be announced as the season progresses.
For further information about the Ring of Honour and future announcements about the Canucks 40th Anniversary, please go to Canucks.com/40th.