EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Former Edmonton Oilers tough guy Dave Semenko, who protected Wayne Gretzky in the 1980s, has died. He was 59.
The Oilers say Semenko died after a short battle with cancer. A team spokesman said Semenko died in Edmonton.
Semenko was the body guard for "The Great One" for parts of 10 seasons with the Oilers in the World Hockey Association and NHL. He helped Edmonton win the Stanley Cup in 1984 and 1985.
The 6-foot-3 winger from Winnipeg had 65 goals, 88 assists and 1,175 penalty minutes in 575 regular-season NHL games and six goals, six assists and 208 PIMs in 73 playoff games.
Semenko spent the bulk of his career with the Oilers, finishing with the Hartford Whalers and Toronto Maple Leafs.