A big, tough centre, Orland Kurtenbach played a total of 639 NHL games over ten seasons, scoring 119 goals and 213 assists, for a career total of 332 points.

Kurtenbach played four years for the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Junior League before being picked up by Flin Flon Bombers in their successful bid for the Memorial Cup in 1958. Following that win, Kurtenbach turned professional with the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League, then a farm club for the New York Rangers. In his first season with the team (1958-59), he won the West Division rookie of the year award scoring 54 points in 52 games. He played two seasons with Vancouver, then moved to San Francisco, also in the WHL.

Kurtenbach’s entrance into the NHL took place in the 1963-64 season when he was picked up by the Boston Bruins. He stayed with the Bruins through the 1964-65 season before joining the Toronto Maple Leafs. Following the end of the 1966 season, Kurtenbach played with the New York Rangers until 1970.

When the Vancouver Canucks were awarded an NHL franchise in 1970, Kurtenbach was the second player the team claimed in the expansion draft, and was immediately named team captain. His strong leadership, inspiration and level of play earned the Cyclone Taylor Trophy as the club’s most valuable player in three of his four seasons with the Canucks. He remained with the team until he was forced to retire in 1974 with a chronic knee problem.

Turning to coaching, Kurtenbach took the reigns of two of the Canucks’ top farm teams, the Seattle Totems and the Tulsa Oilers. His Tulsa squad won the Central Hockey League in 1975-76, and he was named the league’s coach of the year. Kurtenbach returned to Vancouver in 1976 to coach the Canucks until the end of the next season.

An active member of the Canucks’ Alumni for decades, Kurtenbach was very involved with the scholarship program which funded the BC Junior Hockey League players who wanted to continue their education at the post-secondary level. He also toured the province with the Canucks’ Alumni Hockey Team in an annual schedule of benefit games.