One Year Ago: Remembering Dave Semenko

One year ago from today, the hockey world and the city of Edmonton got a lot less tough and jovial. Dave Semenko passed away at the age of 59.

Once an Oiler, always an Oiler is a moniker that gets tossed around pretty lightheartedly in these parts of the internet these days. There are few men and women that that phrase describes more appropriately than it does for Dave Semenko. Of Semenko’s 575 NHL games, only 121 of those were played not in the orange and blue of the Oil. At the end of his playing career, he would head back to Edmonton and worked with the Oilers sporadically including a stint as an ambassador for the team.

The loss was felt across the Nation by fans/media alike. Media like Robin Brownlee gave us some insight into what kind of a guy “Semenk”:

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“Years before I arrived in Alberta late in 1989, I remember thinking while watching Dave Semenko pummel anybody who even looked at Wayne Gretzky wrong, “Man, that dude is big and tough and mean.” When we eventually met, up on the catwalk at Northlands Coliseum in a corner where smokers gathered, I remember thinking the same thing. “You can’t smoke up here,” Semenko said straight-faced as I lit up. I was just about to stub it out and go wipe my ass when he laughed and took a drag of his smoke.”

Fans like Chris the Intern took some time to dive deep into his top fights of all-time. I myself had the honour and the privilege to write about the memorial that the Oilers put on for Dave at Rogers Place last year:

Dave’s daughter, Hannah Semenko gave the first speech on the afternoon and was inspiring strong through what must have been a tough time. She told a story of one of Dave’s first acts as an ambassador for the Oilers, and when asked how he did, her dad replied “I brought the house down” which became an inside joke for their family. She finished by saying her dad can rest assured that her dad would indeed bring the house down one last time.

It was inspiring to watch as Oilersnation fans (and fans from across the hockey world) came together and you helped us raise over $4,000 for the Cross Cancer Institute with the sale of our Legend series shirt.

It’s a sad day in Edmonton and indeed the hockey world as a whole feels a little less fun.