Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David John “Dave” Semenko (1957-2017)

Hockey player.

Born at Winnipeg on 12 June 1957, one of four sons of John Semenko (1930-2020) and Noreen Acton (1936-2007), he learned to play hockey at a rink in East St. Paul. He joined the Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association in the 1977-1978 season. He played with the Oilers in the National Hockey League and helped them to win the Stanley Cup twice (1983-1984, 1984-1985). In 1986, he was traded to the Hartford Whalers and ended his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1987-1988). He played 575 games in the NHL, scored 65 goals, and had 1,175 penalty minutes. Wayne Gretzky said of his on-ice bodyguard that “He [Semenko] was the toughest player I knew.” After retiring, Semenko worked as a colour commentator for Oilers radio and as a team scout. His 1989 autobiography was entitled Looking Out For Number One. He was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame (2001). He died at Edmonton, Alberta, on 29 July 2017.


Obituary [Noreen E. Semenko], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 November 2007.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 July 2017.

“Dave Semenko, two-time Stanley Cup winner, dies at 59,” NHL News, 29 June 2017.

Obituary [John Semenko], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 May 2020.

This page was prepared by Ian Stewart and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 August 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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