Today in Boston Bruins History: September 7
Boston Bruins history for September 7:
1936: Orland Kurtenbach is born in Cudworth, Saskatchewan. He spent much of his early career in the minors, but when he debuted in the NHL for his first full season, it was in 1963-64 with the Bruins. That year, he put up 35 points in 70 games. His production dipped slightly in 1964-65 and he was traded off to Toronto, then to New York, where he was informed that he would be unprotected and therefore eligible for pickup in the 1970 Expansion Draft as Buffalo and Vancouver joined the league.
Interestingly, he’d played in Vancouver before, when they were in the WHL, and even won a championship there. So, the new-look Canucks picked him up in 1970 and named him the team’s first captain. He finished out his career in Vancouver, even though some of his teammates were decamping for the WHA, and went into coaching CHL teams. However, he came back for a third tour of duty in Vancouver, this time as head coach, though his tenure there was short. Eventually, he retired from coaching altogether and was the first inductee into the Canucks’ Ring of Honour (hey, they’re Canadian) in 2010.
1950: Chris Oddleifson (full name Christopher Roy Oddleifson) is born in Brandon, Manitoba. Like Kurtenbach, Oddleifson’s NHL career started in Boston but ended in Vancouver. Drafted in 1970 by the California Golden Seals, he never appeared in a game for them and was traded to the Bruins in 1972. He made the roster in 1973 and had a good season, including a four-point night against the Golden Seals. Another trade in 1974 sent him to British Columbia, where he broke out like Kurtenbach did and even served as the young team’s captain for 1976-77. After his 1983 retirement, he went into real estate in Vancouver and still remains active with the Canucks oldtimer squad.
1979: Paul Mara is born in Ridgewood, N.J. He was raised in Massachusetts, though, and played high school hockey there for a time before joining the OHL. Drafted in 1997 by Tampa Bay, Mara played there until a 2001 trade sent him to another warm climate team in Phoenix. It wasn’t until 2006 when he returned to the familiar sights of Boston for a season. He put up 18 points in 59 points, but racked up 95 penalty minutes too, before being traded to New York. Then, after time spent in Montreal, Anaheim and Montreal again, he became an unrestricted free agent and hasn’t played since 2011. He’s still in the hockey world, though, coaching a high school varsity team at Bourne High School in Massachusetts.
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