1976 to 1978 – Out of the Playoffs and Back to the Drawing Board

1976-77

Coach: Phil Maloney/Orland Kurtenbach
Captain: Chris Oddleifson
First Round Draft Pick: No pick (traded for Curt Ridley)
Leading Scorer: Rick Blight
Playoff Result: Missed Playoffs

The Canucks’ first ever captain, Orland Kurtenbach, took over as head coach midway through the 1976-77 season. The team was atrocious, finishing with only 63 points and out of the playoffs. Twenty year old Rick Blight led the team in scoring, which gave hope for the future (although Blight would not reach these numbers again in his career and would be out of the league by age 26). Dennis Kearns had a career year, setting a franchise record for points by a defenceman with 60 points. Cesare Maniago was their starting goalie. Former Bruins star Derek Sanderson was acquired near the end of the season from the St Louis Blues and he was impressive, scoring 16 points in 16 games.

1977-78

Coach: Orland Kurtenbach
Captain: Don Lever
First Round Draft Pick: Jere Gillis
Leading Scorer: Mike Walton
Playoff Result: Missed Playoffs

Mike Walton (not to be confused with Super Dave Osborne’s Mike Walden) was the team’s leading scorer, which tells you that the team wasn’t very good again. Orland Kurtenbach coached his final season and the team missed the playoffs yet again with one of their worst seasons ever. It wasn’t all bad though, the team did acquire a member of the all-name team, Hubert “Pit” Martin.

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