Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: bob probert
from Shi Davidi of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
One way or another, the late Bob Probert figured his four children were going to come across the details of his often troubled, sometimes sordid, life….
The brutally frank memoir vividly catalogues his highs and lows, from snorting cocaine he initially dumped into a toilet amid his 1989 arrest for smuggling drugs across the Detroit-Windsor border, to ordering pizzas and cavorting with nurses and other patients during his many trips to rehabilitation centres.
Perhaps the most intimidating enforcer in NHL history, Probert also offers plenty of stories about his on-ice pugilism, using an expletive to describe high-profile rival Tie Domi, while praising Marty McSorley, Stu Grimson and Troy Crowder among others, as honourable fighters.
He also describes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as “an *#$%@&, a frikkin’ *#$%@&” who has “ruined the game of hockey,” and is “supposed to speak for the good of the league, but in my opinion, he’s strictly behind the owners.” Probert adds how he fooled league-mandated drug testing by providing inspectors with clean urine samples he’d warmed in the microwave.
Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge is available at Amazon.com (affiliate link).
from A.J. Perez of Fanhouse,
The family of Bob Probert donated the brain of the former NHL tough guy to a group of researchers at Boston University who have studied the link between head trauma and debilitating heath effects in football players and boxers.
“I believe that it was a very difficult decision,” said Daniel Parkinson, whose daughter, Dani, was married to Probert. “I know Dani and Bob had spoken about (donating his body to science) prior to his passing. I know he wanted to advance the research.”
via the CP at the Globe and Mail,
The family of Bob Probert has decided to go ahead with a memoir the longtime NHL enforcer was working prior to his death.
“Tough Guy,” due to be published Oct. 26, will recount his career with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks when he was one of the most feared players in the game, and also delve into his off-ice troubles.
Porbert was co-writing the book with Kirstie McLellan Day before he suffered a heart attack and died last month.
“He was really excited and happy about the opportunity to tell it like it really was — behind the headlines,” Dani Probert, his widow, said in a statement released by publisher HarperCollinsCanada. “After much deliberation, my family and I have decided to fulfil Bob’s dream and publish the book.”
from Dani Probert at the Windsor Star,
In our time of need, we, the Probert family, were so humbled with the enormous amount of support, kindness and condolences given to our family in Bob’s honour.
Thank you for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers from friends, family, the community, surrounding communities and around the world through our darkest hours. For this, we will always be grateful.
The tremendous actions taken Monday, July 5, on the day of the tragedy by OPP, EMS, firefighters, medical professionals and the residents of Emeryville, especially Pete, Craig, Kai and Wilma, you will never be forgotten.
Many thanks to Brian Parent and the staff at Families First for doing everything in their power to ease our path, the Windsor police, who expertly and magnificently assisted the funeral motorcade, the press who showed great respect on our saddest day, the North Wall Honour guard who powered the way and George, who took such care of Bob on his final ride.
from John Intini of MACLEANS,
In September 1999, about three years before his playing days in Chicago were over, Bob Probert and his wife, Dani, set their homecoming in motion. They purchased a waterfront property in Lakeshore, Ont., a sleepy town near Windsor, where they planned to build their dream home.
After years on the road, they wanted to be close to family (Probert’s mother Theresa, his brother Norm, and father-in-law James all live in Windsor). Today, their large grey-stoned home, with its slate roof, sits on a quiet street along Lake St. Clair. There’s a swimming pool on the lake side, a big rec room in the basement with a pool table and hockey jerseys from Probert’s playing days framed and hanging on the walls, and a limited-edition Harley Davidson Fat Boy parked in the dining room.
It’s a stunning place, but like the former NHL heavyweight, not overly showy. From the curb, at least, it’s not even the most palatial residence on the street. A few doors down, another home, protected by a large gate at the front, features a water fountain and a full-sized basketball court.
Less concerned about his jumpshot, Probert treated himself instead to a massive garage.
from the Windsor Star,
The casket of former NHL tough guy Bob Probert was taken to the cemetery today on the sidecar of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, following about 60 other thundering hogs.
The procession of mourners and motorcycles — half a dozen of which belonged to Probert — was led by a piper from Windsor Christian Fellowship through an honour guard of NHL players and officials.
Hockey legend Steve Yzerman and two of Probert’s young daughters were among those who spoke at his funeral.
added 1:09pm, from Tom Leyden of WXYZ,
Not surprisingly, Bob Probert went out with a roar.
A line of more than 50 motorcycles led a lengthy procession to Windsor Christian Fellowship, in Windsor, Ontario, where hundreds of mourners gathered to honor the former NHL player.
continued and watch the video report from Tom below…
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Even in his post-hockey life, a period when he discovered the joys of family and the rewards of a solid marriage and a network of caring friends, one got the sense that Probert, a near perfect blend of size, speed, gifted touch and physical ability to play the game anyway you wanted to play it, was still mentally tortured by the conflict of who he was when measured against what others expected him to be.
It’s understandable. If one were looking for an appropriate inscription for the stone that should forever mark his spot it could easily be: “Peace at Last”.
But it could also be “He Could Have Been”...
And there lies both the tragedy and the reality of the life of Robert A. Probert.
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
The shock of Bob Probert’s unexpected passing is still rippling through the hockey world, but there are already plans in motion to honour the former NHLer.
The Windsor Minor Hockey Association, where Probert first learned to play the game, held a meeting Wednesday in which honoring the Lakeshore resident was a main topic of business.
“There’s a number of things were looking at doing, but I think one of the things for sure we’ll do is rename our Christmas Novice Tournament in his honour,” said WMHA president Dean Lapierre, who said Probert quietly made several charitable contributions to the organization over the years….
John Hahn, the Detroit Red Wings senior director of communications, said the NHL team is also going through the process of trying to figure out the best way to honour one of the most popular players in club history.
Though he spent seven of his 16 NHL seasons with Chicago, Probert is best known for his years in Detroit.
“It’s still very preliminary at this point, but there have been discussions on what we can do,” Hahn said. “We’ll definitely do something, but we want to the right thing.
At least Probert’s life did not end like that of the enforcer John Kordic, who died after a fight with police in Quebec City. Compared to that, Probert’s demise was almost mercifully mundane. As was the case after the death of Mark (The Bird) Fidrych of the Detroit Tigers in 2009, Probert’s passing will bring the blur of nostalgia and sentimentality in the region. Fans in Detroit and Windsor will mourn Probert and their stories of him will flow like tears from eyes or blood from a cut or water of a river current moving away, so swift and strong and soon gone.
-Joe Lapointe of Fanhouse (I do believe Joe was a writer/columnist for the Detroit News). More from Joe on Probert.
The death of Bob Probert has gripped the Detroit area tonight. The working class fans loved him and even though Probert had his problems, the fans always gave him another chance.
Reaction to his death follows…
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,
What is a man? Is he the worst he’s ever done? If so, Bob Probert will be remembered for a night he dropped his pants at the Canadian border and a packet of cocaine fell out. He’ll be remembered for handcuffs, for jail, for alcoholism, for wrapping a Monte Carlo around a utility pole, for crashing a motorcycle with his bloodstream laced with substances, and for year after year single-handedly exhausting the patience of the Red Wings’ front office.
What is a man? Is he the best he’s ever done? If so, Bob Probert will be remembered for a good heart, a gentle soul, a giant’s body that on skates could do that rarest of combinations, speed, score and wallop. He’ll be remembered for the countless attempts he made at cleaning up instead of giving up, his loyalty to his teammates, his love for his kids, and his sincere desire, each time he said it, to get his life together and live out his days in peace.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
When Jim Devellano drafted Bob Probert in the third round of the 1983 draft, he told everyone that Probert would be to the Detroit Red Wings what Clark Gillies was to the New York Islanders.
“Clark Gillies is in the Hockey Hall of Fame,” Devellano said, “and Bob Probert could have been in the Hockey Hall of Fame.”
A little over two years ago, Elliotte Friedman did a feature on Bob Probert.
If you watched it, you probably forgot about it so watch it again and if you didn’t see it, I recommend you watch it.
via the Windsor Star,
Former NHL forward Bob Probert has been rushed to hospital after collapsing in a boat on Lake St. Clair Monday afternoon, AM800 CKLW is reporting.
Emergency crews performed CPR on the former Red Wings player on shore and transported the 45-year-old to Windsor Regional Hospital.
An OPP spokeswoman would not confirm the boating victim as Probert.
update 4:55pm, George Malik tweets,
CKLW says former Red Wing Bob Probert has died at 45 years of age.
added 5:08pm, via CKLW,
AM800 news has learned that former NHL star Bob Probert has died after efforts to revive him when he was rushed to a Windsor hospital with no vital signs. Probert, a former Detroit Red Wing forward, was on a boat in Lake St. Clair when an emergency call was made. EMS and fire met the boat and started CPR, but sources say Probert was not revived.
update 6:02pm, Probert was on his boat with his wife, children and in-laws. Father-in-law performed CPR but could not revive Bob who had complained of chest pains just prior to collapsing.
Adrain Dater at Versus lists his Top 10 fighters,
1. Bob Probert – Throughout the compilation of this list, I must have watched a hundred fight videos of various guys, and many of them fought Bob Probert at some point. And by a clear margin, Probie won most of the fights. And the thing is, he won fights as a young guy, and fights as an old guy. He had a long run in the NHL (1986-2002), and took on all comers in that time.
from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,
The difference in games played for Bob Probert between the Detroit Red Wings (474) and the Chicago Blackhawks (461) is negligible, but there’s no question he cemented his reputation as the most feared fighter in the NHL while wearing the Winged Wheel.
Which is why his public support of the Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals—dropping the ceremonial first puck, telling Jonathan Toews(notes) “good luck, kick their asses”—isn’t exactly endearing him to the Red Wings faithful:
“Who cares about the other guy? Let him hit his hand. Better he hurt his hand than hurt my head.”
-Bob Probert on keeping his helmet on during a fight, via the Chatam Daily News.
via Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,
Yes, the Hawks are going to honor Tony Amonte and Bob Probert with a “Heritage Night,” which pretty much consists of them dropping the puck like Larmer did.
I can see saluting Amonte, but Probert? Why? Ya, he was popular and all, but that’s about it. His best years were in Detroit and he’ll always be a Red Wing.
I’m all for a Dave Manson night. Nobody loved Charlie more than me, one of my favorite Hawks ever, and a great guy.
But how about Dirk Graham? He’s one of the greatest captains and leaders in Hawks history, playing on one leg on most nights later in his career.
from Jim Lang of Sportsnet,
I don’t know what it is, but every time I hear Probert on the radio or hear someone mention his name around the Sportsnet newsroom, my first reaction is to log onto YouTube. The video site is filled with some of Probert’s best fights. In my mind, he was one of the toughest and scariest men to ever play in the NHL.
Now, I am not advocating fighting in hockey, but how can you not get totally amped up while watching a Bob Probert tribute video?
This leads me to the question of the day: Was Bob Probert the toughest guy to play in the modern NHL?
Elliotte Freidman did a great piece on Bob Probert duing the HNIC pre-game last night.
via Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
Speaking of surly, former NHLer Bob Probert was outside the Caps dressing room after the game. He introduced himself to Ovechkin. The star walked away and asked somebody, “Grobert? Who’s Grobert?”
AO, I’d like you to meet Grobert….