Bob Probert: Wikis

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Bob Probert in a fight with Darren Langdon.
Born June 5, 1965 (1965-06-05) (age 44),
Windsor, ON, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
225 lb (102 kg; 16 st 1 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Left
Pro clubs AHL
 Adirondack Red Wings
NHL
 Detroit Red Wings
 Chicago Blackhawks
NHL Draft 46th overall, 1983
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1985 – 2002

Robert Probert (born June 5, 1965 in Windsor, Ontario) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey forward. Probert played for the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. While a successful player by some measures, including being voted to the 87–88 Campbell Conference all-star team, Probert is best known for his activities as a fighter and enforcer.[1] Probert was also known for his off-ice antics and legal problems, as well as being one half of the "Bruise Brothers" with then-Red Wing teammate Joe "Joey" Kocur, during the late 80s and early 90s.

Contents

Playing career

Prior to playing with the Detroit Red Wings, Probert was with the Brantford Alexanders of the Ontario Hockey League. After being drafted, he spent one more season with the Alexanders before spending his 1984–85 season with both the Hamilton Steelhawks and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL

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Detroit Red Wings (1985 — 1994)

Probert was drafted as the 4th pick in the third round (46th overall) in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, in which the Red Wings also selected Kocur and Steve Yzerman.

During the 1985–86 and 1986–87 seasons, Probert spent the majority of his time with the Red Wings while occasionally playing for their minor league affiliate at the time, the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League. While he wasn't the most prolific pointmaker in the 1985–86 season, he finished third on the team in penalty minutes behind Kocur and Randy Ladouceur, both of whom played more regular season games than Probert. In the 1986–87 season, Probert accumulated only 24 points, but amassed 221 penalty minutes.

The 1987–88 season saw Probert develop his fighting abilities and reputation as a tough guy with 398 penalty minutes. He also tied for third on the team in points with 62 (Petr Klima also had 62 points). That season, Probert played in his first (and only) NHL All-Star Game, and he contributed the most points during the Red Wings' playoff run, in which Yzerman missed all but the final three games with a knee injury.

Probert's career hit a snag in 1989 when he was arrested for cocaine possession while crossing the Detroit-Windsor border.[2] He served three months in a federal prison in Minnesota, three more months in a halfway house, and was indefinitely suspended from the NHL. The NHL lifted the suspension at the conclusion of his prison term.[3]

When Probert returned to the Red Wings, he was temporarily one of the alternate Captains of the team along with Gerard Gallant. While his penalty minutes remained high, he also averaged 40 points a season. During his last season with the Red Wings, he accumulated 17 points for the team.

At this time, Probert once again got into trouble with the law. On July 15, 1994, he suffered minor injuries when he crashed his motorcycle into a car in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan. Police determined that his blood alcohol level was approximately triple the legal limit, and that there were also trace amounts of cocaine in his system.[4] At the time of the accident, Probert had been ruled an unrestricted free agent. On July 19, the Red Wings announced that they would not offer him a contract. "This is the end," said senior vice-president Jim Devellano. "[In] my 12 years with the organization ... we've never spent more time on one player and his problems than we have on Probert."

Chicago Blackhawks (1994 – 2002)

Probert's first season with the Blackhawks was the last in which he accumulated over 40 points in a season. From then on, his points and penalty minutes gradually decreased. While he never returned to the levels of point production he achieved with the Red Wings, he remained a physical force on the ice and continued many long-term rivalries with other enforcers.[5]

Probert also sustained various injuries during his time with the Blackhawks, most notably a torn rotator cuff injury which caused him to miss most of the 1997–98 season.[4] One of the more noteworthy occurrences of his career with Chicago is that he scored the final NHL goal at the historic Maple Leaf Gardens on February 13, 1999.[6]

Fighting

He saw it as his job to protect his teammates, especially Detroit captain Steve Yzerman. In a recent news story, he recalled a time that he sucker-punched enforcer Kevin Maguire of the Buffalo Sabres after Maguire pummelled Yzerman.[7]

Some significant tilts in Probert's career include:[5]

  • Two long fights with Craig Coxe of the Vancouver Canucks in the mid-1980s.
  • A career-spanning series of battles with Tie Domi of the New York Rangers, Winnipeg Jets, and Toronto Maple Leafs. One of Probert's memorable confrontations was also the genesis of Tie Domi's now-infamous belt gesture, where he guestured to the crowd as if he had a heavyweight title belt around his waist. Fights afterwards between Domi and Probert were seen in the eyes of many as Probert "getting his title back" from Domi.
  • A career-spanning series of fights with longtime enforcer Stu Grimson, including a fight in December 1993 when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim made their first visit ever to Detroit.
  • A memorable fight on December 17, 1993 with former teammate Joey Kocur of the Rangers, during a brawl involving several players from both teams. Probert and Kocur had grabbed the nearest opposing player without realizing who it was, and continued trading punches even after they identified each other. Later on in Probert's career, he would face Kocur a couple more times when he was with the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • A fight on February 4, 1994, against Marty McSorley, then of the Pittsburgh Penguins, lasting nearly 100 seconds.

Retirement

After the 2001–02 season, Probert was placed on waivers by the Blackhawks. Because he was not picked up by another team, he was advised that his role with the Blackhawks would be limited, or even relegated to playing in the minor leagues again. On November 16, 2002, Probert opted to "unofficially" retire so that he could join the Blackhawks radio broadcasting team.[4] He had finished fourth on the NHL's all-time list with 3,300 penalty minutes.

His stint with the Blackhawks radio team did not last long. In February 2003, it was reported that Probert went back to rehab. During the 2002–03 offseason, Probert formally announced his retirement.

Post-retirement

Hockey-related appearances

Probert regularly appears in charity games, speaks at conventions, and conducts youth clinics. His activities as a Red Wings alumnus are somewhat limited by the fact that, due to his criminal background, he requires an immigration waiver each time he wants to cross the border.

On January 2, 2007, Probert appeared along with many other former Red Wings teammates to honor the retiring of Steve Yzerman's number 19 at Joe Louis Arena. He wore his number 24 Red Wings sweater, and helped former teammate Vladimir Konstantinov onto the ice for the ceremony. The Detroit crowd gave him a very warm welcome, which he later said he appreciated. He stayed on to watch the game with Joey Kocur behind the penalty box.[7]

This was noted as a possible reconciliation with the Red Wings organization. Apparently it worked, as Probert became a late addition to a January 27, 2007 Red Wings Alumni game against the Boston Bruins Alumni at Joe Louis Arena. He scored a goal and two assists, though the Red Wings alumni lost the game 8-6.[8]

Probert recently worked on the Mike Myers film The Love Guru, making a cameo as a hockey player. He has commented on the irony of being given jersey number 28 to wear in the film — the same number worn by longtime rival Tie Domi.[9]

Legal problems

In 2004, Probert was arrested for allegedly parking his BMW sport utility vehicle on the wrong side of the street and entering into an altercation over drugs with bystanders. Several police officers intervened and had to subdue Probert with taser and stun guns. He was later acquitted on all charges related to this incident.[10]

On July 1, 2005, Probert was arrested at his Windsor-area home for breach of peace, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer. Probert's attorney, Patrick Ducharme, advised the media, "I anticipate he will be pleading not guilty and going to trial."[10] Probert was arrested again on August 23, 2005, at a bar in Tecumseh, Ontario for violating two conditions of his probation that he not consume alcohol or be in an establishment that serves liquor. He was released after paying a $200 CAD fine. All charges stemming from the arrest on July 1 were eventually dropped.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1982–83 Brantford Alexanders OHL 15 12 16 28 133 8 2 2 4 23
1983–84 Brantford Alexanders OHL 65 35 38 73 189 6 0 3 3 16
1984–85 Hamilton Steelhawks OHL 4 0 1 1 21
1984–85 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 44 20 52 72 172 15 6 11 17 60
1985–86 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 32 12 15 27 152 10 2 3 5 68
1985–86 Detroit Red Wings NHL 44 8 13 21 186
1986–87 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 7 1 4 5 15
1986–87 Detroit Red Wings NHL 63 13 11 24 221 16 3 4 7 63
1987–88 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 29 33 62 398 16 8 13 21 51
1988–89 Detroit Red Wings NHL 25 4 2 6 106
1989–90 Detroit Red Wings NHL 4 3 0 3 29
1990–91 Detroit Red Wings NHL 55 16 23 39 315 6 1 2 3 50
1991–92 Detroit Red Wings NHL 63 20 24 44 276 11 1 6 7 28
1992–93 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 14 29 43 292 7 0 3 3 10
1993–94 Detroit Red Wings NHL 66 7 10 17 275 7 1 1 2 8
1995–96 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 78 19 21 40 237 10 0 2 2 23
1996–97 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 82 9 14 23 326 6 2 1 3 41
1997–98 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 14 2 1 3 48
1998–99 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 78 7 14 21 206
1999–00 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 68 4 11 15 114
2000–01 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 79 7 12 19 103
2001–02 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 61 1 3 4 176 2 0 0 0 0
NHL totals 935 162 221 384 3300 81 16 32 48 274

Records

  • Detroit Red Wings franchise record for career penalty minutes (2,090)
  • Detroit Red Wings franchise record for penalty minutes in a season (398 in 1987–88)
  • 5th all time in penalty minutes (3,300)

References

  1. ^ Singer, David (2007-01-15). "Behind "The Code"". Hockeyfights.com. http://www.hockeyfights.com/articles/213. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  2. ^ "Probert Free to Travel". AP. 1992-12-08. 
  3. ^ "Probert Finishes Term". AP. 1990-02-06. 
  4. ^ a b c "Bob A. Probert". Legends of Hockey. http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/SearchPlayer.jsp?player=11322. Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  5. ^ a b "Bob Probert". Hockeyfights.net. http://www.hockeyfights.com/players/67. Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  6. ^ "Toronto Maple Leafs - Questions, Answers, Fun Facts, Information". FunTrivia.com. http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Sports/Toronto-Maple-Leafs-1462.html. Retrieved 2007-01-29. 
  7. ^ a b Duff, Bob (2007-01-04). "Probert living large". Windsor Star. http://www.canada.com/topics/sports/story.html?id=f7a4727e-bfbc-4a6b-9665-b32e0410992d&k=73042. Retrieved 2007-01-19. 
  8. ^ Sipple, George (2007-01-28). "'80s show at the Joe". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070128/SPORTS05/701280679/1048/BUSINESS05. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  9. ^ Hornsby, Lance (2008-01-12). "Probert gets surprise". SLAM! Sports. Sun Media Corporation. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/2007/12/18/4730226-sun.html. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  10. ^ a b "Bob Probert faces assault charges". CBC Sports. 2005-07-05. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2005/07/04/probert050704.html. Retrieved 2007-01-24. 

Other references

Bob Probert / In Play! magazine Inaugural issue

  • [1]NHLFightclub - over 300 fights!

External links


Simple English

Born June 5, 1965 (1965-06-05) (age 45),
Windsor, ON, CAN
Died July 5, 2010 (aged 45),
Windsor, ON, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
225 lb (102 kg; 16 st 1 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Left
Pro clubs Chicago Blackhawks
Detroit Red Wings
NHL Draft 46th overall, 1983
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1985 – 2002

Bob Probert (April 20, 1985July 5, 2010) was a professional Canadian ice hockey right winger that was known for being a fighter and a rough enforcer. Probert played a combined 16 seasons in the NHL with two teams, 9 while part of the Detroit Red Wings and 7 while part of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Probert was featured on the ice skating competition, Battle of the Blades where former ice hockey players compete in ice dancing competitions.

On July 5, 2010, Probert died of heart failure while vacationing in Lake Saint Clair, Onatrio with his mother-in-law, father-in-law and children.


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