Detroit lost another sports legend yesterday when NHL All-Star forward and one of the league’s top enforcers, Bob Probert, died at the age of 45. Probert apparently suffered a heart attack after complaining of chest pains while out boating.
Probert, who was drafted by the Wings in the third round (46th overall) in 1983 skated in Detroit from 1985-94 before making his way to the Chicago Blackhawks.
The rugged left winger was 6-ft-3-in. and packed one of the hardest punches in the history of the game. But along with his ability to go toe-to-toe with the best of them, Probert also brought enough skill to his game to make the All-Star in 1988, a year he tallied 29 goals and 62 points although he spent 398 minutes in the penalty box.
His career stats are impressive considering his role on the teams too. His career stats include 384 points (163 goals, 221 assists) in 935 regular-season games and 3,300 penalty minutes, 5th most in NHL history.
Probert’s career hit more than a few bumps in the road though. With a laundry-list of arrests and violations over the years, his worst run-in with law officials landed him in federal prison for a three-month period when he was caught trying to smuggle cocaine over the U.S. and Canadian border. The arrest also landed him a one-year suspension from the NHL.
Back to his time on the ice, Probert, in 1988 the winger broke Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe’s record of 20 playoff point in a season when he tallied 21.
Of all of his brawls, the most famous may be his duels with friend andformer teammate Joey Kocur and his minute and a half slugfest he got into with Pittsburgh Penguin player Marty McSorley. You can see that fight here.
Mr. Probert, R.I.P. along with two other Detroit sports’ icons who have been lost recently, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych and Ernie Harwell.
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