Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday! 

This week in 1979 (Aug. 9), the Edmonton Oilers acquired Dave Semenko from the Minnesota North Stars.

In exchange, the Oilers gave up the clubs second (Neil Broten) and third-round (Kevin Maxwell) picks in the ’79 draft.

While Semenko did play for the Oilers of the WHA in the late ’70’s, there were a few weird things that landed him in Minnesota.

When the Oilers joined the NHL, Semenko’s rights were retained by the North Stars, who had drafted him in the 1977 NHL draft. Thus, Edmonton needed to make a move to bring him back to town.

Semenko joined the Oilers in the NHL in the 1979-80 season where he scored 13 points in 67 games totalling 135 PIM in his first year.

He went on to play eight of nine NHL seasons in Edmonton and retired in 1988 after playing 575 games. Known as Wayne Gretzky’s bodyguard, Semenko piled up 1175 PIM over his career and was known as one of the toughest players to ever play the game.

After retiring, he went on to be a colour commentator on Oilers radio broadcasts. Semenko died in June 2017 after being diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer.

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