I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Probert in the early 1990s when a mutual friend brought him into Detroit Athletic Co. for a casual visit. He was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and was just about the nicest professional athlete I’ve ever met.
The most striking characteristic about Probert was the size and strength of his hands. When we shook hands, I felt as though he could have crushed mine without much effort. His hands were enormous and I immediately understood why his punches landed so many of his adversaries flat on the ice.
To this day, Probert remains an endearing figure to Detroit Red Wings fans. His jerseys still sell often and his name is mentioned every time a memorable fight breaks out. He is the standard-bearer for brutality on the ice in Hockeytown.
This video clip gives a good overview of Probert’s fighting career. It’s too bad he wasn’t able to get his name on the Stanley Cup with his fellow Wings. He certainly had the heart of a fighter — and of a champion.