Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Talking With Joe Kocur

01/28/2021 at 8:49am EST

Free Press special writer Bill Dow continues his "where are they now" series about former Detroit Red Wings players.

Today's profile is on Joe Kocur:“I always wanted to play for the Wings again. I was out of a job, playing in a local beer league and with the Red Wing Alumni team. Bob Probert was with Chicago and I said to him before a game against the Wings, ‘why don’t you kick the crap out of them and maybe they’ll realize they’ll need an intimidator.' Bob obliged and the following day, there was an article about how the Wings needed to get tougher. I later learned that my friends at Art Moran Pontiac, Jerry Vought and Bob Moran, had kept telling Scotty Bowman, who was a customer, that the Wings should sign me. In my second game back, we were in Chicago and I started a fight with Bob Probert. At the end of it, I was on top of him and said, ‘Thanks buddy for getting me back in the league.' He said, ‘no problem.’ Years later when we were being interviewed for the book, "The Bruise Brothers," he asked me why I had started that fight. I told him that I had to because they signed me to help protect the others. There were never any hard feelings between us. I had also fought him when I was with the Rangers. We both knew we had a job to do.”

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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