However the Minnesota North Stars gave him a training camp tryout and signed him as a free agent with the intent of playing him with the Michigan K-Wings of the IHL, the Star's chief minor league affiliate, the Michigan K-Wings in Kalamazoo. "Courts" excelled there, playing two solid seasons (1989-91), scoring 70 goals and 64 assists in 133 games.
His big break came in 1991 when the expansions San Jose Sharks acquired him from Minnesota in the expansion dispersal draft, making him one of the "original" Sharks.
Courtenay played in 44 games from 1991 through 1993. He scored 7 goals and 13 assists, all in the 1992-93 season. His finest NHL memory was his first NHL goal, which happened in his hometown of Montreal.
"I had about 20 friends and family there that night," Courtenay recalls. "It was kind of tough to celebrate too much because we were losing 8-2 but that is definitely something I will always remember."
Courtenay spent most of his days in the Sharks organization producing several strong seasons for the Sharks farm team, the Kansas City Blades of the IHL. In 1991-92, he helped lead the Blades to the Turner Cup (the IHL Championship) and a 56-22-4 record, the best record in professional hockey that year.
Courtenay was released by the Sharks and not signed by any other NHL team. He ended up playing with several minor league teams.