Dave Semenko, Canadian ice hockey player and coach, Died at 59


David John Semenko was born on July 12, 1957 and died on June 29, 2017.

He was a Canadian professional ice hockey scout, and a coach and player.

He played for the Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Semenko was originally selected in 1977 by the Minnesota North Stars of the National Hockey League and the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association.

He was a acknowledged enforcer, he was Wayne Gretzky’s bodyguard early in Gretzky’s career in Edmonton, beginning in the WHA in 1978, and ending when Semenko was traded to Hartford in 1986.

He was considered one of the toughest players ever in the NHL.

The protection package offered by Semenko allowed Edmonton’s stars — Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier, and Paul Coffey — more freedom on the ice, contributing to the Oilers’ Stanley Cup triumphs in 1984 and 1985.

Semenko fought boxing legend Muhammad Ali in an exhibition on June 12, 1983.

Dave Semenko passed away at 59 years old.