The hockey world woke up in shock this morning as the disappointing news of NHL legend Dave Semenko’s death was released. Semenko was one of the most lovable guys in hockey and was best known for being Wayne Gretzky’s “bodyguard.” If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read Robin Brownlee’s article from this morning about the Oilers enforcer.
I spent my morning watching old Dave Semenko fights. Unfortunately I wasn’t around to see him or the rest of the old boys club play in the ’80s, so it amazes me to watch some of the fights he was a part of now. He was one of the toughest guys in the league and always made the rest of the team feel safe on the ice. I put together some of Semenko’s greatest fights down below and figured we should all take some time to watch them while we remember Dave’s great career and life.
Bob Probert vs Dave Semenko Oct 17, 1987
Does anyone else clench their stomach when watching this fight? Semenko’s punches are so hard Probert barely got a chance to throw anything in the first half of the fight. This fight came in the last season of Dave’s career and more than likely left Probert with some bruised ribs for weeks.
Dave Semenko vs Tim Hunter Apr 17, 1983
This brawl just shows how much more amazing and out of control the NHL was back in the day. I’m sure the Battle of Alberta fuelled this scrum a lot, but in today’s game you’d never see somebody jump a player while the linesman is escorting him to the box. Semenko was throwing bombs with Hunter for a good 50 seconds, only to be challenged AGAIN by Peplinski.
Dave Semenko vs Basil McRae round 2 Feb 22, 1988
Basil McRae and Tom Hunter were arguably Semenko’s biggest rivals throughout his career. They each fought Semenko four times a piece, sometimes in the same game.
Dave Semenko vs Ron Delorme March 13, 1982
Give Delorme full credit for standing up to the monster that is Dave Semenko. Watch Delorme’s helmet fly off at 0:09 — that was Semenko literally punching it off his head with super-human force.
Ice Guardians Extras: Dave Semenko – Verbal Effectiveness
This is a great extra from the Ice Guardians documentary where Dave Semenko talks about verbally managing the game between whistles. Dropping the gloves wasn’t always necessary for the big man even though he was awesome at it.
Dave Semenko finished his career with 1175 penalty minutes in just 575 games. I wish I could have shared all of Sammy’s fights because there are hardly any bad ones. If you’re interested in seeing any other of his scraps, take a look at Semenko’s hockeyfights player page. Rest in peace, Mr. Semenko.