Flashback: Former NHL players talk about fighting Bob Probert

Former Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks forward Bob Probert was known as one of the most feared enforcers in hockey history – with offensive talent, to boot.

Take a look at the testimony of some former NHL players who were brave enough to go toe-to-toe with Probert – something that not many people would ever want to do!

– Chris Kotsopoulos: “He was like a battleship cruising the ice ready to take on all comers. Plenty of guys were just simply scared sh–less of him.”

– Craig Berube: “I fought him like eight or nine times in my career. You were always thinking about it, that’s for sure, before the game. Because he was a big man, very strong, obviously powerful, tough. But a real honest guy out there. Never tried to do anything dirty or anything like that. Very honest player. It’s a shame he’s not around.”

– Mike Hartman: “My father watched the fight from the penalty box where he was taking pictures of the Red Wings for a special project they needed. My father was the team photographer. When I played, my father would watch from the seats, except that night he was in the home penalty box. After our fight, Bob was sent to the penalty box with a cut above his forehead. Then Bob turned to my father and said, ‘I’m going to hurt your son tonight.’ “

– Kevin Kaminski: “In the locker room before game, I told Olie (Kolzig), ‘Tonight’s the night.’…He looked at me and said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘I’m fighting Probie.’ He said, ‘No you’re not. Why?!?’…I said, ‘He’s getting old and I want to say I fought ‘The Legend’…so I did…I had a bunch of family there that night. It was a pretty cool night. Fought The Legend and didn’t get knocked out.(Laughs)”

Probers spent nine years playing with the Red Wings, and another seven with the Blackhawks. He struggled with off-ice problems throughout his life, and tragically passed away in 2010 of a heart attack.

Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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