Bill Orban

This well travelled pro played for 10 different clubs in 11 years.

Bill Orban was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1944 but lived in places like Champaign-Urbana, Illinois., Ottawa and Saskatoon as a youngster. His father Dr. Bill A. Orban Sr. worked for Canada's federal Government and was later named the dean of the University of Saskatchewan.

Bill played his junior hockey in Saskatoon for the Quakers until going to IHL and the Fort Wayne  Comets for a year (1964-65),he then spend two seasons playing for the Los Angeles Blades in the WHL winning the rookie of the year award in 1966. As the NHL expanded in 1967-68 Bill made the Chicago Blackhawks lineup and played 39 games that season. The next season he played 45 games for Chicago before being traded to Minnesota with Tom Reid for Andre Boudrias and Mike McMahon on February 14,1969. He played another 21 games for Minnesota that season.

Bill didn't crack the North Stars lineup at the start of 1969-70 season and was send to Waterloo, Iowa in the CHL. Minnesota recalled Bill on a couple of occasions and he played a total of 9 games for Minnesota that season.  That season he had his most productive campaign in his pro career and notched 75 pts in 65 games for Iowa. He was also named to the second CHL All-Star team. His 9 game stint in Minnesota was his last in the NHL. He was picked up by Chicago in the intra-league draft and was on a couple of Blackhawk training camps but never made the last cut. Bill played for Cleveland and Springfield in the AHL and Portland in the WHL the next couple of seasons.

On thanksgiving night 1972, while playing for Portland he almost suffered a career ending injury when  he was playing with a charley horse in his left leg,and recieved a severe blow to the leg. His leg got swollen but he still insisted on playing the next night against Phoenix tightly taped. The leg was hit again, this time slightly lower and Bill was out for the season,missing almost 60 games. He suffered from such a bad swelling that there was no place for the muscle to go. The muscle literally exploded causing a lot of internal bleeding.

Bill had an operation to the leg but the problem was that no calcium had formed in the leg so it took seven months before he could even skate or jog or ride a bicycle. He later only had 60 % of the normal flexibility in his left thigh.

Despite this he fought on and played another two seasons. This time in the CHL for the Tulsa Oilers and Dallas Black Hawks before retiring 31 years old in 1975. Bill was a real team player who worked as hard or harder than anybody on his teams. As a minor leaguer he was often used as a penalty killer. He was also used in powerplay situations. He was a descent two-way player who also played well in the corners. A pretty complete player although not the best skater.

Bill Orban played a total of 114 regular season NHL games (8 goals, 15 assist for 23 points) and went pointless in 3 playoff games.


nickatnoon61 5:21 PM  

Is Blake Orban related to Bill? Blake plays for the Oil Kings?

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