Orland Kurtenbach and the Legend of Flin Flon, Manitoba

The Funny Names Blog appreciates people with funny names. It appreciates people with funny names who come from funnily named towns, play for strange sounding sports teams, and connect to cities in Canada named after science fiction characters even more.

Orland Kurtenbach, the handsome devil, live on fake TV.

The great Orland Kurtenbach ticks all the boxes, and more.

Orland, being a Canadian, was of course a professional hockey player. Hailing from Cudworth, Saskatchewan, where he grew up on a farm, young Orland seemed destined for a hockey career from the start. He began as a defenceman, playing for the Prince Albert Mintos for two seasons, just the first of a series of hilariously named hockey teams in his career.

After a while, his attacking instincts proved him more suitable as a forward, where he was to be deployed for the rest of his playing days. During his junior career, along with the Mintos, he also appeared for the Saskatoon Quakers and the Flin Flon Bombers. At the latter he won the legendary Memorial Cup in 1957.

Before we move forward, I should probably address the Flin Flon Bombers here. Yes, Flin Flon is a real town in Canada, in that tropical paradise sometimes referred to as Manitoba. The town probably deserves its own blog post here, but I will just mention that it was named after its founding in 1927 after a science fiction novel called The Sunless City, whose main character bore the fantastic name of Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin. Hey, if I was reading that book and happened to be founding a town immediately afterwards, I’b be tempted to flonatin it up a bit myself.

The town of Flin Flon, population 5592, give or take a few, is home to this statue of Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin, one of the nicest statues of Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin erected anywhere.

But we’ll return to that story at a later date.

Orland Kurtenbach started his professional career immediately following his triumph in Flin Flon, earning a contract with the Vancouver Canucks, then in the minor WHL league. He did well enough in his first season to earn Rookie of the Year honors as Vancouver went on to playoff success that year, managing not to incite any riots in the process.

He toiled in the minor leagues for a long time, eventually ending up with the Toronto Maple Leafs where our old friend Punch Imlach gave him a chance to be a regular player in the biggest of pro leagues, the NHL. Later he wound up back with the Canucks, who had in the meantime joined the NHL as part of its ongoing expansion. He became their captain and ended up playing a highly respectable 639 games in the NHL before his retirement.

To keep his funny name legacy going, Kurtenbach turned to coaching after his playing career, holding jobs with the Seattle Totems, Tulsa Oilers, and best of all, the Richmond Sockeyes in the minor leagues. He retired from hockey in the mid 80’s and now runs a golf range in British Columbia with his wife, enjoying his memories of Flin Flon.

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36 thoughts on “Orland Kurtenbach and the Legend of Flin Flon, Manitoba

  1. amb says:

    Arto!! Flin Flon is my town!! My dad’s town, actually. He grew up there. So if you need a first-hand source for your eagerly anticipated Flin Flon post, (and stories about those wild and crazy Bombers) I’m your girl :-)

  2. Can’t wait to read about Flin Flon. After visiting the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minnesota it just makes me want to go for a visit with Mr. Flonatin.

    • Arto says:

      Maybe I’ll stop by at Blue Earth when I perform my eventual pilgrimage to Finland, Minnesota and inspect how close it is to the real thing. And then I’ll pop on over to see Mr. Flonatin :)

  3. [...] I have to congratulate my Esteemed ColleagueTM Arto, whose Orland Kurtenbach and the Legend of Flin Flon, Manitoba post from Tuesday has been selected to become a WordPress Freshly Pressed featured article in the [...]

  4. I actually know someone who lives in Flin Flon—and yes, I do think the name is so quirky!

  5. themightyf says:

    Good to see Flin Flon getting its due! Flin Flon is forever immortalized on our F Map http://themightyf.wordpress.com/f-map/ along with Flic en Flac Beach, Mauritius,
    Fjarðabyggð, Iceland etc. Lots of good fodder there for you perhaps!

    • Arto says:

      I sadly have no Fs in my name, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating your awesome map! We’ve featured a few of those endearing Icelanders on this blog before (hint : copy-paste is useful for those more peculiar letters). Thanks for the comment, I think those are all Funny Names Blog worthy names!

  6. fireandair says:

    Gotta know about Flin Flon — any hockey fan from Philadelphia knows about Flin Flon. :-)

    • Arto says:

      Bobby Clarke is one of its more famous sons, indeed :)

      Funny how you can pick out almost any town in Canada, including Moose Factory, Ontario, and there’s a fair bet you can name a famed hockey player from there.

  7. fireandair says:

    BTW, you want funny hockey names, I’ve got two words for you: Orest Kindrachuk. Sounds like it looks, which is sort of alarming.

  8. ericajolo says:

    As a born-and-raised Manitoba girl, I appreciate any posts that mention Flin Flon. Nicely done. And congrats on the FP!

  9. pezcita says:

    This was hilarious! So many funny names in such a short article! Please post another one soon!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for the kind words! We have a new post every weekday. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: every Friday we do “Funny Names In The News” – which is chock-full of nominal awesomeness from current events in our world today!

  10. dlee says:

    Here’s what I wrote about Flin Flon. A tiny bit about the town, and more about the DC-area band that was named for the town. And a bit about hockey there, too.

    http://thisisthatsong.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/april-18-odessa-by-flin-flon/

  11. [...] over occasionally  got Freshly Pressed (I can brag about it because my family’s hometown is mentioned in their post) and there were a record number of hits here at Words Become Superfluous on [...]

  12. [...] case you haven’t heard, the most important world news right now is that Arto’s Tuesday post earned “Freshly Pressed” honors on WordPress, and yesterday was our most popular day on [...]

  13. dcmontreal says:

    Great post!!

    Flin Flon is known to all Canadian hockey fans – a true hotbed of NHL talent!! Speaking of NHL talent, Obama could use some coaching…

    http://dcmontreal.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/obama-needs-debate-coaching-from-hockey-greats/

  14. marksackler says:

    Congrats guys. You know join the club known as “Unfunny named guys who have been Freshly Pressed! :P

  15. Wonderful post!! Thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  16. Meig says:

    love it. being a Manitoban i appreciate and love this post for many reasons. but mostly because it is funny and you added a photo of the lame statue in Flin Flon. =)

  17. themamadiary says:

    enjoying the premise of your blog! if i had a dollar for every time someone butchered my last name growing up, i could of bought enough apple stocks right after high school to make me a multimillionaire right now.

  18. aladyn88 says:

    Hi im aladyn and I’ve tried using Itread and its so great. I can’t help using it. It gives me life. Thanks to http://www.itrain.com

  19. [...] Ontario. Granted, Brampton isn’t as awesomely named as, say, my dad’s hometown of Flin Flon, but it’s a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live now, so he gets points for [...]

  20. [...] darling cousin (the one who grew up in Flin Flon!) is here for a visit, so I’m going to be offline for the next little [...]

  21. […] already covered other parts of both Flin Flon and Kalamazoo here, and the fact is those are delightful towns, at least in name. The Port […]

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