Former UMD Hockey Coach Mike Sertich Reacts to Passing of Tom Kurvers
The Saint Paul native was UMD's first-ever Hobey Baker Award winner back in 1984, when he led the Bulldogs to the national championship game.
DULUTH, Minn. – This week, the hockey world is in mourning for a player who exemplified what it meant to be a Bulldog, on and off the ice.
Former UMD hockey legend Tom Kurvers passed away Monday morning after a two-and-a-half year battle with lung cancer. The Saint Paul native was UMD’s first-ever Hobey Baker Award winner back in 1984, when he led the Bulldogs to the national championship game.
“He was very skillful, number one. He had good size and a great shot. He understood the game so well. When I took over, we changed some things in what we did and adapted some of the things that were going on previously that I was a part of. He led by example. He bought into the system right away and the guys followed him,” former UMD head coach Mike Sertich said.
Kurvers is UMD’s all-time leader in goals and points by a defenseman. He went on to play over 650 games in the NHL, finishing with 93 goals and 421 points as a pro. He was also a member of the Stanley Cup-winning Montreal Canadiens in 1986. He’d go on to hold multiple front office positions with Phoenix, Tampa Bay and most recently, the assistant General Manager for the Minnesota Wild.
“He lived his values. He had strong character. He was a good person. People understood that. And when you knew him and you met him, you felt that right away. He was genuine in everything that he did, unconditional in everything that he did. If he did something for you, he never expected anything in return,” Sertich said.
Tom Kurvers was 58 years old.