John Semenko Dies at 59
John Semenko was a two-time Stanley Cup winner and an integral part of the Edmonton Oilers defence. He served as Wayne Gretzky’s bodyguard on the rink for part of 10 seasons – first with WHA Edmonton before joining NHL competition in 1979.
After retiring, Semenko worked as a colour commentator on Oilers radio and team scout. In 2013, he was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
Early Life and Education
Early in a child’s life, their brains are developing at an incredible rate. To ensure the best environment for growth and development, it is essential to provide them with the ideal conditions.
Parents are their children’s primary educators throughout their lives. Not only do they teach them how to speak and walk, but also feed themselves; but in order for children to reach their full potential they need active stimulation and interaction with other people.
ECEC is an essential socially and economically significant investment, as it responds to changing work roles and family composition; encourages equalization of life opportunities; aids in assimilation for immigrants; and generally improves child development and wellbeing. Unfortunately, despite increased attention given to ECEC as a social determinant of health in many countries, its delivery system remains fragmented.
His professional ice hockey career was long and successful, spanning the Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
He earned a reputation as an uncompromising enforcer due to his powerful physique, and he helped the Edmonton Oilers win two Stanley Cups in 1984 and 1985. Additionally, he served as a scout for the team.
Semenko was an impressive left-winger in the NHL, but he also had a great sense of humor. Aside from being hard-hitting and one of the league’s best lefties, Semenko made for great teammateship as well.
Achievements and Honors
He was a tough player who provided openings on the ice for Wayne Gretzky and other talented forwards on the Edmonton Oilers. Throughout his WHA and NHL career, he accrued 1,279 penalty minutes while protecting some of hockey’s greatest stars.
Semenko earned himself a place in WHA history by scoring the last goal in Game 6 of the 1979 Avco Cup finals. Aside from his impressive on-ice accomplishments, Semenko also enjoyed great popularity amongst his fans and teammates alike.
On March 2, 2022 at age 59, he lost his battle with cancer. Survived by his wife Noreen, brother Edward, sister Elaine, nephews Kyle and Logan Flodine and uncle Harry Stevens; he will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
David John Semenko was born on July 12, 1957 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and is a retired professional ice hockey player, coach, scout and color commentator.
He earned two Stanley Cup victories with the Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers and Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL) during his career.
In an era when bulky enforcers would share the ice with star players, Semenko stood as one of the toughest. He guarded Wayne Gretzky early in his career – first in World Hockey Association then NHL when they merged.
He was a two-time Stanley Cup winner and linemate of Gretzky on the Oilers, but tragically passed away Thursday from pancreatic cancer at 59 years old.
John Semenko, the towering enforcer who shielded Wayne Gretzky during the 1980s and helped win two Stanley Cups for the Edmonton Oilers, has passed away at 59 years of age due to complications from liver and pancreatic cancer. He had been with us since 1973.
His NHL career consisted of 65 goals, 153 points and 1,175 penalty minutes in 575 games for the Oilers, Hartford Whalers and Toronto Maple Leafs. Additionally, he served as a coach, scout and colour commentator.
At a time when big, physical enforcers shared the ice with some of hockey’s elite, Semenko earned himself the reputation as one of the toughest. Throughout his NHL career, he faced off against several formidable opponents including Wayne Gretzky in a playoff battle and Muhammad Ali in an exhibition boxing match that ended in a draw.