Thursday, June 29, 2017

{allcanada} Dave Semenko, two-time Stanley Cup winner, dies at 59

Dave Semenko, a two-time Stanley Cup winner and linemate of Wayne Gretzky with the Edmonton Oilers, died Thursday of pancreatic cancer at age 59.

"It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Oilers legend Dave Semenko after a short, but courageous battle with cancer," the Oilers said in a statement. "Dave will be remembered as a fierce competitor, loyal teammate, fan favorite and dear friend to so many. His legendary toughness on the ice is surpassed only by his kindness and caring for others, and his equally legendary wit and sense of humor.

"Our hearts go out to Dave's family and many friends."

Semenko, a Winnipeg native, joined the Oilers for the 1977-78 World Hockey Association season after a junior career with Brandon of the Western Hockey League.

He scored the last goal in the history of the WHA, in a 7-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in Game 6 of the Avco Cup Final, and then moved with the club to the NHL for the 1979-80 season, playing with the Oilers until he was traded to the Hartford Whalers on Dec. 12, 1986. He played 51 games for the Whalers in the 1986-87 season and 70 for the Toronto Maple Leafs the next season. 

"The news of Dave passing this morning literally took my breath away," Mark Messier said in a statement. "I loved Semenk like we all did. He was a great teammate, a loyal friend, a loving father, and a worthy champion. Rest in peace my friend."

Semenko finished his NHL career with 153 points (65 goals, 88 assists) and 1,175 penalty minutes.

After retiring in 1988, he joined Oilers radio broadcasts as color commentator, and served as an assistant with the Oilers during the 1996-97 season. He was a pro scout for the Oilers from 1997-2015.

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