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|1977 NHL DRAFT PICK|
Selected in second round
25 overall by Minnesota North Stars
||Position: Left Wing|
Height: 6-3 Weight:
|BEFORE THE DRAFT|
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)
AWARDS AND HONORS
Miscellaneous: Rated in The Hockey News draft preview issue as
WCHL's No. 14 prospect for the 1977 NHL draft.
| Debut: October 10, 1979 (Edmonton at
Numbers: 27 (Edmonton); 72 (Hartford); 27
Stanley Cup: 1984, 1985.
Playing Status: Retired March 22, 1988
|CAREER NHL STATISTICS|
||Edmonton, Hartford, Toronto||
|CAREER NHL PLAYOFF STATISTICS|
AWARDS AND HONORS
Stanley Cup Finals (Lost): 1983 (Edmonton)
Edmonton Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1981-82 (194)
Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1983 (69)
1979-80: Played on first Edmonton Oilers NHL team.
Scouting Career: Named Edmonton pro scout prior to 1997-98 season and
remained in that position through 2006-07 season.
Miscellaneous: Left unprotected by Minnesota for 1979 NHL Expansion
Draft, but was reclaimed as fill-in after John Baby was taken off Minnesota
roster. ... His first NHL game was also first game in history of
Edmonton Oilers NHL franchise and Wayne Gretzky's first NHL game. ... Missed
start of Edmonton's 1982 training camp as result of contract holdout. Had
spent summer caught up in controversy because he was considering an offer from
Los Angeles after gaining restricted free agency on June 1, 1982. Los Angeles
tried to engineer a trade for Semenko, but Edmonton refused. ...
Missed part of 1983-84 season with sprained left knee, an injury suffered
during Edmonton's Jan. 4, 1984, game vs. Minnesota. ... Missed parts of
1984-85 season with shoulder and back injuries. ... Left Edmonton in 1986 with
franchise record (since broken) for career penalty minutes (976). At time he
left, he had also been with franchise longer than any other teammate (10
seasons). ... Considered retirement in November 1987, but chose to remain with Toronto for
balance of season. ... Retired near end of 1987-88 season after deciding that
hockey was no longer fun. He was frustrated that he was not playing regularly
or getting much ice time for Toronto. He also was upset that he had been
reduced to the role of a goon, and no longer wanted to fulfill such duties.
... Was NHL's most feared fighter throughout his playing days and played vital
role in providing protection for Wayne Gretzky during the years when Gretzky
was shattering NHL records.
|Post-Draft Teams: Brandon (WCHL); Edmonton (WHA);
AWARDS AND HONORS
WHA Draft Pick: 1977 (by Houston,
No. 21 overall in Round 2)
1978-79: Played on WHA regular-season champion (Edmonton).
Miscellaneous: Had planned on
spending 1977-78 season with Brandon (WCHL) to use up his remaining
major-junior eligibility, and turned down contract offers from Minnesota and
Houston. ... WHA rights traded by
Houston to Edmonton for future considerations in November 1977. He immediately
signed with Edmonton and left WCHL for WHA. ... Scored last goal in WHA
history during Game 6 of Avco Trophy final series on May 20, 1979, at
Winnipeg. ... Met former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali during a
visit to Ali's Los Angeles home in 1983. The visit was arranged by Mark
Messier's uncle, who was doing publicity work for Ali. Messier's uncle later
organized an exhibition boxing match between Semenko
and Ali on June 12, 1983. ... Active in charitable causes during playing days in
Edmonton, including work as honorary co-chairman of the Edmonton Employment
Services for the Physically Handicapped and the Cosmopolitan International
"Help Us Light the Way" fund-raising drive. ... Published autobiography, Looking Out for Number One, in 1989. ... Became active
in Oldtimers' charity hockey after his retirement.
Personal: Nicknamed "Sammy." ...
Full name is David John Semenko.
|HOW HE GOT AWAY|
|WHA/TRADE: Semenko never signed with
Minnesota, instead jumping to the WHA. He did not enter the NHL until the
1979 NHL-WHA merger. Minnesota regained his rights in the NHL Reclaim Draft on
June 9, 1979, but the North Stars later traded him back to Edmonton in
exchange for 1979 second-round pick (Neal Broten) and 1979 third-round pick
(Kevin Maxwell) on August 9, 1979.||
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