Terry Kurtenbach joined the Panthers for the 86-87 season, having previously played for the Brandon University Bobcats in Manitoba. He took a few games to adjust to the style of the British league, but he soon won over the fans with his consistent performances.
Not the biggest or most physical of defencemen, TK’s great strengths were his ability to read the game and his positional sense. He also acquired a reputation for the amount of ice time he got through, often playing well over 50 minutes of each game.
Just 3 months after joining the team, he led them to their first silverware of the modern era, with a MOM performance in the Norwich Union Cup Final against Fife Flyers at the NEC in Birmingham.
TK’s finest moments came in the 88-89 campaign, when he was joined by his old college team mate Darren Durdle. While Durdle hit the headlines with his rushing style, it was Kurtenbach who superbly looked after the defensive duties in coach Alex Dampier’s radical system. Terry was captain of the side and scored the winning goal in the Wembley victory over Ayr Bruins, before lifting the British Championship Trophy, the first Panthers of the modern era to do so.
After four more excellent seasons, including another Autumn Cup win in 1991, TK was released somewhat controversially before the 93-94 season, going on to play for Romford & Guildford.
A true gentleman off the ice, TK’s contribution to Nottingham Panthers cannot be overstated. He led the team by example throughout their transition from also-rans to genuine contenders in the first Dampier era. He played 381 games, scored 313 goals and contributed 471 assists in his Panthers career, and will forever be remembered as a hockey hero by the Nottingham fans.
Profile written by Ian Braisby