If you love hockey, you love Bob Probert. It’s as simple as that.
At his best moments, he was a great player, and he even got included in the 1987-88 Campbell Conference All-Star team. But mostly, Probert was known for doing other stuff than goals and assists on the ice.
He was one of the best enforcers the NHL has ever seen, known for his amazing fighting abilities. Few guys have ever been as beloved by his teammates as Probert was, and when he retired, he did it as a cult hero.
Probie is a legend, one of the most controversial and mythical figures ever in hockey. And that’s why the news of his death came as a shock to the hockey world. In the summer of 2010, Probert was out boating with his family. Suddenly, he felt severe chest pain, and in the afternoon, he collapsed.
He was rushed to Windsor Regional Hospital’s Metropolitan Campus, but the efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
A month later, his funeral was held in Windsor, Ontario, and the church was packed with legends. Legendary players like Tie Domi, Chris Nilan, Doug Gilmour, Joey Kocur, Darren McCarty, and Steve Yzerman were there. Joey Kocur and Doug Gilmour even carried the casket during the funeral.
Steve Yzerman delivered the eulogy, which was just such a beautiful and dignifying moment.
”He was a rugged hockey player and an unselfish teammate who was willing to do anything for his team,” Yzerman said in his eulogy.
”And most notably, he had a kind heart and gentle soul.”
Probie was a huge fan favorite in Detroit, but Yzerman also said that everyone wanted to talk with him during All-Stars.
”On top of his fine play, he made the game fun. Whether it was stopping in the middle of a fight to adjust his helmet and give Gerard (Gallant) and I a wink to let us know everything was OK, or in card game ’till the wee hours of the morning the night before a playoff game.”
It was Yzerman’s final words to Probert, and he couldn’t have said it better. Bob Probert a legend whose legacy never will be forgotten.