David John Semenko
A frequent fighter, he was known as Wayne Gretzky's bodyguard early in Gretzky's career in Edmonton, beginning in the WHA in 1978, until Semenko was traded to Hartford in January 1987. Semenko is considered by many to be one of the toughest players ever in the NHL. The protection offered by Semenko allowed Edmonton's star players, like Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier, and Paul Coffey more freedom on the ice, greatly helping the Oilers win Stanley Cups in 1984 and 1985.
Semenko played his junior hockey for the Brandon Wheat Kings and then played two years for the Oilers in the WHA before it merged with the NHL. He scored the final goal in WHA history in Game 6 of the 1979 Avco Cup Finals, which the Oilers lost to the Winnipeg Jets. After brief stops with the Hartford Whalers and Toronto Maple Leafs, he retired following the 1987–88 season. He finished his 575-game NHL career with 55 goals, 88 assists and 1175 penalty minutes.
After retiring, he became a colour commentator on Oilers radio broadcasts and then became an assistant coach with the Oilers in 1996 before joining the scouting staff. Legions of fans still affectionately remember Semenko as "Cementhead" although his official team nickname was always "Sammy".