Legends & Retired Shirts
Gary was a top prospect with the Panthers and had already shown he could live at the highest level when he died in his sleep before establishing himself as a regular in the team. Those around the club at the time had no doubt that the youngster was going to have the brightest of ice hockey careers and his untimely death was mourned throughout the club. In his honour the number “3” shirt was retired.
Paul who arrived in 1988 holds the points record for the Panthers. He scored 828 goals for a massive 1609 points in the Black and Gold where he was a fan favourite for 11 illustrious seasons. Paul went to Italy for the 1999/2000 season and ended his playing career in that other city the following year. Paul returned to his 'hometown' in 2001 in a dual coaching role, finished that season in charge and will again be the head coach in 2002-2003. Paul's career is full of records. He still holds the highest points in a season for the Hull Olympiques in the QMJHL, he never lost a game when he was Panthers captain and is unbeaten as a head coach. He attended training camp for the NHL's Hartford Whalers and was sidelined by injury when due to appear for the Canadian Olympic team. Their loss was our gain and Paul went on to appear in over 60 games for the GB National
Born in Winnipeg Centreman Zamick was a late replacement when he arrived in 1947. He became one of Nottingham's most famous sportsmen and was twice voted 'Sportsman of the Year'. A prolific goal scorer despite his small size he notched up 778 goals for 1423 points in an 11 year career. He left the Panthers to take up a coaching position in Switzerland but returned and lived in the area for a while before before to London. He was a guest honour at the last Panthers game played in the old stadium and visited the team to see a game in the new arena before sadly passing away at his London home.
Like Zamick Les Strongman hailed from Winnipeg and had trials with the Detroit Red Wings before deciding to try his luck in Europe. His first season 1946-7 saw him average a point a game. The arrival of line mate Zamick the following year saw a change in the teams fortunes and Les scored freely. His Panthers career total of 726 points in 501 games however are only a part of his contribution to Nottingham Ice Hockey. When the team reformed in 1980 Les took on the coaching role and also spent many years on the club committee. In his later years he coached the Nottingham Juniors and can still be seen at home matches.
Centreman Jimmy only played two seasons for the Panthers but in that time he made an enormous impact on Panthers fan - and opponents! Jimmy was always in the thick of things. In 99 games he scored 181 goals for 352 points and also racked up an impressive 401 in penalty minutes. Like Kurtenbach Jimmy was a member of the 1986 Autumn Cup winning team at the NEC. He made a popular one game return to take part in Randall Weber's Testimonial.
Canadian born Randall arrived in Britain with his parents at the tender age on 10. He soon took to the ice for the Nottingham Junior teams and made his senior debut in 1985. In a career spanning 17 years he appeared in over 800 games for the Panthers. He will always be remembered for his contribution to Panthers Hockey and particularly for his role as a penalty killer. Randall combined skill and bravery to become one of the best in the country. Anyone who was present will never forget his 'perfect' hat trick in a Cup tie in Manchester. Randall persecuted ex-NHL star goalkeeper Frank Pietrangelo to score even handed, on the powerplay and a delightful breakaway short handed goal that left Pietrangelo bemused. Randall made his international debut for GB in the world championships of 1998. In all he played 845 games for the Panthers scoring 317 goals for 824 points. He retired at the end of the 2002 season and is shortly to return to the country of his birth
Affectionately known as TK Kurtenbach arrived at Parliament Street in 1986. He became Panthers highest scoring defenceman with 313 goals for 784 points in a 7 season career in the Lace City. He often logged over 50 minutes a game and captained the side for much of the time. He played in the 1986 Panthers Autumn Cup triumph at the NEC captained the side to another Autumn Cup and the unforgettable 1989 British Championship triumph at Wembley. A GB international TK will always be remembered with great affection by the fans. He left the Panthers and enjoyed several more successful seasons with Romford and Guildford.
Greg Hadden left the Nottingham Panthers at the end of season 2002-3. It was his seventh season in British ice hockey and he spent every one of them with the Panthers. During his last season with the club Greg was rewarded with a testimonial. And during his last campaign he became the Superleague's all time leading goal scorer in both league and all competitions. Gary Moran, Panthers' General Manager paid this tribute to #11, whose number he retired at the annual awards' ceremony: "Greg is a great guy, fun to be with in the locker room and full to the brim of quick one-liners that have kept spirits up in low times. "He is a gentlemen, a proud husband and father, and we wish him every success in his chosen career - the fire service. "It epitomises the player that he has chosen a career beyond the sport that involves team spirit and looking after others. "Whilst he will be remembered elsewhere for his tremendous goal scoring and wicked shot, for me, he will always be the best face-off man this country has ever seen. Every coach we have had has sent Greg on the win the puck at a crucial face-off. He is the guy that we asked to get possession at a late face-off in our end in a one goal game. And he always got it for us! "Greg has been one of our stars, it has been a priviledge to know him and to watch him in the black and gold. I wish him every success."
The fifth number to be officially retired by the GMB Panthers was announced during the league title presentations in March 2013. Corey Neilson’s Number #77 was officially assigned to the rafters to commemorate the Grand Slam achievements of a head coach who had moved to Nottingham from Florida for season 2008-09. A third round draft pick of the Edmonton organisation in the NHL, Corey’s career as a defenceman saw him play in the UHL, the AHL, Germany and the ECHL before moving to Nottingham with his Scottish wife Joanne and their two sons. He took over the coaching reigns for season 2008-09, winning his first trophy the following year – the Challenge Cup. A season later he had masterminded the retention of the cup and added the Play-Off Crown and a year after that he retained both trophies. He played a few games at the start of the Grand Slam season of 2012-13 but quickly went behind the bench full-time alongside his assistant Rick Strachan where they steered the club to success in both competitions again. To everyone’s delight the club also added the much sought after first league title since 1956 to complete the Grand Slam of Major Trophies. On the night that a packed Nottingham Arena heard his number was being retired, an emotional Head Coach said it was his proudest day in the sport. When he first came to Nottingham #77 was already in use and he wore #76 for a season but switched to #77 after a year and now no-one else will wear it!